Manchester United Beat AC Milan on Penalties After Drawing Final 2019 ICC Match

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 3, 2019

Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard celebrates after he scores the team's second goal during the 2019 International Champions Cup football match between Manchester United and A C Milan at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff on August 3, 2019. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester United beat AC Milan 5-4 on penalties following their 2-2 draw on Saturday but failed to win the 2019 International Champions Cup ahead of Benfica.

United front man Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with a sublime solo strike at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, before Milan star Suso equalised. Victor Lindelof's own goal put Milan back in front after an hour, but substitute Jesse Lingard pulled United back level with just under 20 minutes left.

Red Devils midfielder Paul Pogba was absent after manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club's official website (h/t Evening Standard's George Floodon Friday that he'd had a recurrence of a back spasm.

United travelled to the Welsh capital knowing goals were needed for them to overtake Benfica at the top of the ICC standings.

Solskjaer's side had scored three goals and conceded once in their first two games, while the Eagles ended their competition also conceding once but with six goals scored.

Rashford offered an ideal platform to build from in that regard and opened the game up following a turgid first 15 minutes.

Nemanja Matic lobbed a pass over the Milan defence for Rashford to chase, and the Englishman took care of the rest. He picked up the ball on the left touchline and cut inside past two defenders before finishing inside Gianluigi Donnarumma's right post (U.S. only):


A lovely solo goal and finish from Marcus Rashford 😍 https://t.co/gp1287QinU

Rashford's goal also took him clear at the top of United's pre-season scorer list:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Marcus Rashford has scored more goals (3) than any other Man Utd player during pre-season. Looking sharp. 👏👏👏 https://t.co/jQIatTLjKi

The signs of improvement have been strong for United throughout pre-season, in which they have remained unbeaten, but familiar problems were all too evident in the lead-up to Milan's equaliser.

Suso deserved credit for his curled strike around 20 yards from David De Gea's goal, but Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News criticised Matic's role in conceding:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Milan equalise through Suso after Matic gets caught in possession. Matic has started the majority of #mufc's pre-season matches but his performance level hasn't been good.

De Gea was called back into action on several occasions before the break, most notably denying an awkward, bouncing ball from curling in at his back post with Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek lurking.

Marco Giampaolo's side ended the first half in the ascendancy and continued to build on the momentum of their equaliser after the break.

The Rossoneri went ahead when Suso's free-kick was headed on by Samu Castillejo, although it was United centre-back Lindelof who made the last touch into his own net.

Lingard was one of five substitutes to come on for United in the 65th minute, and the academy product made an almost instant impact.

Anthony Martial cut past two Milan midfielders before playing Lingard through on the left side of the opposition box, and the Englishman fired low into Donnarumma's bottom-right corner.

Lingard's strike upheld an incredible record for United's academy graduates this pre-season:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

All of Man Utd’s goals from open play this pre-season have been scored or assisted by an academy graduate. A big impact from Lingard. 🙌 https://t.co/urRImeA6kd

Daniel James also tested Milan's back line and won a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box in the final minute of normal time, but fellow substitute Fred fired over.

Hakan Calhanoglu, Giacomo Bonaventura, Andre Silva and Rade Krunic stepped up to convert for Milan in the shootout, while Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes each scored from the spot to make it 4-4. 

Daniel Maldini was fifth in the Milan penalty order and saw his effort saved by De Gea, whereas James made no mistake and sealed a narrow win for his new club in Cardiff.


What's Next?

United's attention now turns to Sunday's 2019-20 Premier League opener at home to Chelsea, while Milan will next be in action when they open their Serie A campaign at Udinese on Aug. 25.