AC Milan 0-1 Barcelona (August 1, 2023) Game analysis

Ansu Fati’s brilliant strike was the difference between Barcelona and Milan on Tuesday as the La Liga side won 1-0 in Las Vegas.

Fati came off the bench at half-time and only needed 10 minutes to score with a left hand and then swinging into the top corner straight out of the box.

The Barça striker was celebrating on the touchline with teammate Ousmane Dembele, who was left out of the squad while Barça negotiated a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

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The win ends Barça’s US tour after losing to Arsenal and beating Real Madrid in the previous two matches, while AC Milan return to Italy after losing to Madrid and drawing against Juventus.

USMNT winger Christian Pulisic started for Milan at the Allegiant Stadium and his fast footwork earned Marcos Alonso an early yellow card, but soon Barça began to create chances.

Ronald Araujo’s header was deflected by Mike Meignan before Jules Kundet hit the post, and Fikayo Tomori blocked a rebound from Ferran Torres brilliantly.

Meignan also saved a sharp 25-yard Rafinha shot and Torres’ far post header, although Milan also had chances in the first half.

Turned down by Inaki Pena, Tijani Reinders should have done better when he was freed by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tomori headed forward and Rafael Leao shot straight as Pena after defeating Kunde.

Barça made five substitutions at half-time and one of them, Fati, broke the deadlock after connecting with a live Alejandro Balde.

Minutes later, Pulisic became frightened after landing awkwardly from a collision with Balde, but was able to continue the game and Milan approached the equalizer when Leao leaned slightly.

Oriol Romeu then headed past Barça and Araujo correctly ruled out a goal for offside before both teams squandered two great chances in the final stages.

First, Reinders fluffed his lines after he robbed Sergino Desta and played a one-two with Leao, shooting wide of goal from six yards, and then Fati, with the net open, saw his effort blocked by young AC Milan defender Davide Bartezaghi.

Barça will kick off their new La Liga campaign on August 13 away at Getafe, while AC Milan will have to wait another week to start their Serie A match on August 21 in Bologna.

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