Gennaro Gattuso was pleased with how his side played against Real Madrid yesterday and shifts focus to Serie A.
Milan finished their pre-season commitments yesterday as they took on Real Madrid for the Trofeo Bernabéu.
Both Real and Milan used very strong starting XI’s, and already after 2 minutes, Los Blancos got on the scoresheet as Karim Benzema managed to head the ball past goalkeeper Gigio Donnarumma.
In the 4th minute however, Gonzalo Higuain showed why he’s the top striker Milan have been missing for so long, as he scored with his first shot as a Rossonero, beating Keylor Navas with a fantastic powerful shot. Milan played relatively well, especially in the first half, but lost concentration in both stoppage times, as Gareth Bale got a goal in the 45+1′ minute while Borja Mayoral scored as well in the 91′ minute.
“It’s a pity for the two goals conceded in stoppage time,” Gattuso told MilanTV after the game. “We have to improve this aspect because it can’t just happen by chance. The performance was important and it’s now time to focus on the league and prepare for the match against Genoa, a tough one.
“The team? I still have the feeling that the team is content; we have to improve without switching off the light and always being on point. You can’t lack the competitive nastiness. 80% of this team knows each other and they’ve already played together, and the new entries can come in handy. I was pleased with how Caldara and Bacca came on. Individuals can make the difference in the long run, but I always prefer commenting on the group rather than the individuals.
“Pre-season? I am really pleased with the work we have done this summer, we have to keep up to good work. We are playing good football but we have to be more determined: we did well on Saturday, fighting on every ball but in the end, their quality came out. We are still lacking a bit of speed and acceleration, we knew it and we will work on it during training this week to be ready for the start of the season [the season starts next Sunday against Genoa at Stadio San Siro].”
Speaking in the presser, Rino added: “Last season our biggest problem was that we played some attractive football without bringing home a result, and now we’ve got the same regrets, so it’s something we need to improve. The thing to work on is to avoid conceding goals in the 46th and 91st minutes. It’s easy to say that the substitutes lowered the quality but things are not like that: if one plays at Milan then he must be ready, always. To do this job you need personality and have no fear.
“It was a good performance overall, the side is in good shape and plays well. In general, I am happy, as we have strengthened this summer. It’s true the gap with Juventus remains very large, but we are young and on the right track. If we continue like this, I don’t think it’ll take long to bridge that gap.
“Higuain? We’re going nowhere if we just rely on one player, even if it is Higuain. It’s not enough. In order to be credible, you have to do the work throughout the week, encouraging your teammates and not insulting them. I’ve seen all of that since he arrived here.”
The match against Real, despite the 3-1, was probably the Diavolo’s most positive pre-season game. Milan end their preparations with 2 wins and 3 defeats, scoring 5 goals and conceding 5.