Real Madrid beat AC Milan as Vinicius Junior caps comeback


Real Madrid surge late to beat AC Milan in friendly at Rose Bowl

After being down 2-0 at halftime, Real Madrid get two goals from Federico Valverde and a goal from Vini Jr. to beat AC Milan 3-2 at the Rose Bowl.

Real Madrid staged a second-half comeback capped by a winner from Vinicius Junior to beat AC Milan 3-2 in Pasadena, California, on Sunday.

Fikayo Tomori and Luka Romero put Milan 2-0 up at the Rose Bowl, but two quickfire goals from Federico Valverde -- followed by Vinicius' 83rd minute strike -- saw Madrid come out on top in the first preseason friendly of their US tour.

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Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti picked summer arrivals Jude Bellingham, Joselu and Brahim Diaz in his starting 11, while Fran Garcia came on as one of eight half-time changes, and Arda Guler missed out with muscular discomfort.

Ancelotti introduced both Vinicius and Rodrygo Goes after the break, but it was Valverde who had them level by the 58th minute before Vinicius latched on to a long pass over the Milan back line and shot past Mike Maignan to give Carlo Ancelotti's side the win.

"I'm already counting, I don't know how many goals [Ancelotti] is going to want from me [this season]," Valverde said, after the Italian joked that he would "tear up his coaching license" if Valverde didn't get into double figures last campaign. "I feel good. I'm motivated to keep winning things at this club."

Real Madrid players celebrate after scoring a goal against Milan in a friendly at the Rose Bowl.
Real Madrid players celebrate after scoring a goal against Milan in a friendly at the Rose Bowl.
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United States winger Christian Pulisic started for Milan and claimed an assist for Tomori's opener before being replaced by Rafael Leao in the 70th minute.

The game saw Madrid line up in a new 4-4-2 formation with a midfield diamond, with Bellingham playing behind Diaz and Joselu.

"I liked it," Ancelotti said in his post-match news conference, when asked about the change of system.

"There are some things we have to change a bit. It was hard for us to play out from the back... Bellingham's positioning was good, he played a good game. The team has to get used to his quality."

There was a scary moment at the start of the match when ESPN analyst Shaka Hislop collapsed on the field and needed medical attention, but his on-air partner Dan Thomas told viewers at half-time that Hislop was conscious and talking with medics after receiving treatment at the stadium.

Milan continue their preseason tour in the U.S. with matches against Juventus on Thursday and Barcelona on Aug. 1, before beginning Serie A with a trip to face Bologna on Aug. 21.

Madrid play Manchester United on Wednesday and take on Barcelona in a preseason El Clasico in Arlington, Texas, on July 29, followed by their last match in the U.S. versus Juventus on Aug. 2.