AC Milan Tops Real Madrid In Holiday Friendly


With both La Liga and Serie A taking a break for much of December, AC Milan and Real Madrid met in a club friendly to keep their teams fresh. The least important result, the score, finished at 4-2 in favor of the Italian side. The game was played at a neutral location in Dubai.

Jeremy Menez opened the scoring in the 24th minute after a horrible defensive lapse by Real Madrid. The ball was in the process of being cleared back to Keylor Navas in goal, but was well short and Menez pounced and scored. Stephan El Shaarawy extended the Rossoneri’s lead to 2-0 in the 31st minute.

In the 35th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo laced a great shot that found its way around former teammate Diego Lopez. Lopez was farther out the goal to try to get a better angle on the potential shot, but Ronaldo showed why he has been so lethal in La Liga this season.

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  • At half, Madrid made six changes while Milan made five. For Madrid, Iker Casillas, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Carvajal and Diego Llorente entered for Navas, Illaramendi, Sami Khedira, Ronaldo, Javier Hernandez and Alvaro Arbeloa.

    For Milan, Giampaolo Pazzini, Michael Essien, Andrea Poli, Pablo Armero and Cristian Zaccardo entered for Menez, Michelangelo Albertazzi, Riccardo Montolivo, and Nigel de Jong.

    Just two minutes after both teams overhauled their lineups, El Shaarawy extended the lead to 3-1. Between then and the end of the match, Milan would make four more changes while Madrid made three more.

    Pazzini found the back of the net in the 73rd minute to extend the lead to three goals for Milan. Benzema would get one back with six minutes left to play on a penalty kick.

    As a Milan fan, it was nice to see them put forward a good effort, score some goals and beat a notable team, albeit a friendly. Considering both teams basically subbed out a player at every position, it was clear that this match was going to serve its purpose to keep the entire roster fresh with a little bit of playing time.

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  • Madrid has been so good in La Liga, it’s practically scary. Their roster is loaded and I think their second team would give Milan a very hard time in most cases. For Milan, this result is one that the team can build off of as they resume their Serie A campaign once the year turns to 2015. Milan has posted a lackluster 6-7-3 record to start the season and sit in a measly seventh place. They are only two points out of the last Europa League spot, but are 14 points out of first. After failing to qualify for any European competitions for the 2014-15 season, qualification in either the Europa League or Champions League would be a major success for the 2015-16 season.

    Now 3-3-1 in their last 7 matches (2-3-1 in Serie A), Milan will resume their domestic campaign on January 6th against Sassuolo. After playing Torino on the 10th, Milan will start their Coppa Italia campaign in the Round of 16 against Sassuolo. For Madrid, they will resume their domestic campaign on January 4th against Valencia, followed by resuming their Copa del Rey defense against Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16.

    Next: Year in Review: Favorite 2014 World Cup Match