Manchester United needed a penalty shootout to secure victory over AC Milan after both teams played out a 2-2 draw in the International Champions Cup on Saturday. On a cool night in Cardiff, both teams gave fans a glimpse of what to expect when the season begins.
The Red Devils made a bright start to the game, securing an early lead through Marcus Rashford. The 21-year-old striker ran through on goal to score what was an amazing solo effort. However, the Italian side equalized 12 minutes later through Suso.
The former Liverpool winger had a good game and scored with a belter to draw Milan level just before the half hour mark. The Serie A side went 2-1 up in the 60th minute thanks to an own goal by Victor Lindelof, but Jesse Lingard came off the bench to pull United level.
With nothing to separate both sides after 90 minutes, a penalty shootout was required to decide the winner. Daniel Maldini was the only player to miss, as Man United went on to win 5-4 in the shootout.
We take a look at five talking points from the game:
#5 Both teams a long way from challenging in Europe
The essence of pre-season games is to help teams digest and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses before the main season starts. From what transpired between Manchester United and AC Milan, it is fair to say both teams are still far from challenging in Europe.
Make no mistake, this was by no means a dull game. Both teams gave it their best, but they will need more to conquer Europe once again. Man United have not won the Champions League since 2009, while Milan have not been close to the Rossoneri side that ruled the continent a decade or two ago.
The fact is that both teams are currently in transition, having endured miserable campaigns in the last few years. Both have splashed the cash in recent years in a bid to return to the top, but they are a long way from Europe’s best and will need more quality in order to join the elite .