Thursday, August 8, 2013

LA Galaxy 0-2 AC Milan: Balotelli helps clinch third in Guinness Cup

Massimiliano Allegri's outfit produced a commanding display to defeat the MLS champions in Miami and end the competition on a high.

 Milan clinched third place in the Guiness International Champions Cup as it produced a fine display to defeat LA Galaxy 2-0 in Miami.

First-half goals from Mario Balotelli and M'Baye Niang gave Massimiliano Allegri's outfit a commanding advantage in a match which it dominated from start to finish

Milan took the lead on 17 minutes when Robbie Keane was caught sloppily in possession, allowing Andrea Poli to poke the ball beyond the LA Galaxy defense for Balotelli to

emphatically smash past the advancing Carlo Cudicini.

Stephan El Shaarawy then spurned a good opportunity to double the Rossoneri's lead when he controlled Niang's pass but he could not produce the finish to match as he fired a fierce shot against the legs of Cudicini and over the crossbar.

Bruce Arena's side looked short of the invention which helped it to defeat Juventus only three days earlier although Juninho nearly leveled the scores just past the half hour mark.

The Brazilian midfielder unleashed a swerving effort from distance which Christian Abbiati parried and the Milan goalkeeper had Cristian Zapata to thank as he produced a crucial challenge to prevent Landon Donovon from sweeping in the rebound.

Milan then doubled the lead four minutes before the interval when Niang capped his impressive performance with a goal. The 18-year-old Frenchman produced a neat faint to deceive Todd Dunivant on the right of the box before firing a low left-footed strike past Cudicini and into the bottom left-hand corner.

The Rossoneri continued to dominate proceedings in the second half and Niang, El Shaarawy and substitute Bakaye Traore were all culpable of wasting presentable goalscoring chances to give Milan a three-goal advantage.

With an important league fixture against Dallas on the weekend, Arena decided to make wholesale changes for the second half and his side struggled to fashion chances against a resilient Milan rearguard.

Sulley Muntari saw a late strike rattle against the crossbar before Milan's victory was slightly marred by a late injury to Balotelli.