The Red Devils’ pre-season campaign comes to a conclusion with a prestige friendly against seven-time European champions Milan in Cardiff.
United have had a successful summer on the field, winning all five of their fixtures thus far, and they have been further boosted by the imminent arrival of £85m defender Harry Maguire.
Milan have lost back-to-back matches against Bayern Munich and Benfica, meanwhile, and they could really do with a morale-boosting win.
STARTING XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Rojo, Shaw; Matic, McTominay; A. Pereira, Mata, Rashford; Martial
SUBS: Romero, Grant, Dalot, Jones, Smalling, Tuanzebe, Young, Fred, Gomes, Lingard, James, Chong, Greenwood
STARTING XI (4-3-1-2): G.Donnarumma; Calabria, Romagnoli, Musacchio, Rodriguez; Borini, Biglia, Calhanoglu; Suso; Castillejo, Piatek
SUBS: Bonaventura, Silva, Brescianini, Capanni, A.Donnarumma, Strinic, Gabbia, Maldini, Conti, Krunic, Mionic, Plizzari, Reina, Capone
It looks as though United are going with a 4-2-3-1 formation, spearheaded by Martial. There is no Pogba because of a back complaint. Rashford, playing slightly deeper, attempts to pick out Martial but the Frenchman held his run.
There is a great atmosphere inside the Principality Stadium – formerly the Millennium Stadium – with the officials taking the decision to close the roof today. The two sets of supporters have been mixing in the city centre and there is a nice feel to the match early on.
It is probably worth mentioning that a three-goal win for United would see them win the International Champions Cup. There has been no sign of a goal in the early stages, with the Red Devils being pressed a lot higher than they were against Kristiansund in midweek.
Milan have had 67% of the ball in the opening nine minutes but there has been very little between the teams. Matic plays a poor pass in his own half but he is not punished. The humidity inside the ground is perhaps not helping the sides.
SHOT! Pereira picks up the ball in space and opts to go for goal from 30 yards. The midfielder rather drags his attempt, though, and it is watched wide by Donnarumma. That is the best United have offered so far in South Wales.
SAVE! Milan are still three weeks away from the start of their first competitive match, but they are looking pretty fit in terms of their high pressing. This has been a tough test for the Red Devils so far, but they manage their first attempt on target as Rashford’s swerving effort from 25 yards is parried by Donnarumma.
That was a decent attempt from Rashford – one that nearly caught out Donnarumma towards his near post. Milan put a good attack together but Rojo, back in the side today, shows some good defensive play to keep them at bay.
GOAL! MANCHESTER UNITED 1-0 AC MILAN (MARCUS RASHFORD)
Brilliant from Rashford! The striker, playing in a wide role today, cuts inside from the left, taking the ball past two opposition players and fires his shot past Donnarumma with the help of a deflection off Romagnoli.
Rashford has had both of United’s shots on target, scoring with his second of the evening. That really was an impressive goal from the England international, who is the leading man for United now in the absence of Lukaku.
McTominay carries the ball forward and plays it to Rashford on the left. Rashford and Martial exchange passes but the shooting opportunity does not present itself and Milan are able to clear their lines. Milan’s only openings are coming on the counter.
Donnarumma is closed down by Rashford and boots the ball out of play. The crowd liked that pressing from United. This has been a positive display from the Red Devils in the opening quarter of their final pre-season friendly.
Milan have failed to score in three of their last four ICC matches, and have not scored more than once since they netted four against Bayern Munich in July 2017. The Italian side have lost both of this summer’s ICC games.
It is Martial’s turn to station himself out on the left. The Frenchman floats a cross towards the penalty spot but it is headed clear. Milan are struggling to keep hold of the ball in the final third of the field – they need some inspiration from somewhere.
GOAL! MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 AC MILAN (SUSO)
The Milan goal had not exactly been coming. Suso’s shot aside, they offered very little before the same player picked out the bottom corner 60 seconds later. Many predicted that this would be a tight game and so it has proved!
Much like Rashford with United’s only two on-target attempts, Suso is the only Milan player to find the target so far today with three shots in all. The ex-Liverpool man also scored an ICC goal against Man United in July 2018, netting their only goal in a 1-1 draw.
It is a pretty defined 4-2-3-1 for United now, with Pereira out on the right. United have not had an attempt of any sort since Rashford’s goal 14 minutes in. They have gone off the boil and Milan have stepped things up.
Milan are getting nowhere quick with their passing – it is all far too pedestrian. United are offering little in an attacking sense, too, with Pereira’s drive being closed down. The tempo has dropped substantially.
United form a 4-5-1 when they are defending, which they are doing a lot of at the moment. The game has been pretty poor since Suso’s impressive goal. It will be interesting to see whether Solskjaer makes any changes at the break – this is his last chance to get things right.
Rashford flashes the ball across the six-yard box and nobody can get on the end of it. The England striker has been heavily involved in the first period – a huge positive for Solskjaer. Half time is now just five minutes away in Cardiff.
SAVE! Suso’s cross is missed by Piatek but it is still heading for goal, if not for the intervention of De Gea, who read the flight of the ball – that is a good save. That is the closest either side have come to a goal since Suso made it 1-1.
Mata is finishing the first half on the right of United’s three-man attacking midfield. Milan are on top and looking the more likely to score, but a last-ditch challenge is required at the other end to thwart United’s swift counter.
SAVE! The ball somehow rolls through to Piatek and De Gea is left stranded. Piatek tries to chip it over the Spanish keeper from a tight angle but the save is made. That was good play from De Gea after being caught out, as he made himself big and forced Piatek wide.
HALF TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 AC MILAN
The sides go into half time at the Principality Stadium all square at 1-1. Rashford opened the scoring 14 minutes in for United, but Suso hit back for Milan a little over 10 minutes later in what has been a fairly even match.
There was also a start for Pereira in the absence of back injury victim Pogba, and the Portuguese midfielder got away the first shot of the contest with his dragged attempt.
The England international cut inside from the left, taking the ball past two opposition players and guiding the ball away from Donnarumma with the aid of a deflection off Romagnoli.
After coming within inches of scoring a world-class goal from 25 yards, he picked out the bottom corner from the opposite side a minute later with De Gea unable to get across.
Milan ended the first half on top and forced De Gea into another couple of saves through Suso and Piatek, the latter nearly finding a way through with his chipped shot from an angle.
MANCHESTER UNITED SUBS: Romero, Grant, Dalot, Jones, Smalling, Tuanzebe, Young, Fred, Gomes, Lingard, James, Chong, Greenwood
AC MILAN SUBS: Bonaventura, Silva, Brescianini, Capanni, A.Donnarumma, Strinic, Gabbia, Maldini, Conti, Krunic, Mionic, Plizzari, Reina, Capone
KICKOFF: Man United get us back up and running for the second half. It does not look as though either manager has made any changes at the break, so it is as you were for the time being.
Rashford, who will probably get an hour or so today, chases down a ball down the left. He gets to it but is held up and the attack breaks down. Biglia then clatters into Rashford to give away a free kick, while also leaving his opponent in some pain.
Shaw gets forward and gets a shot away from about 20 yards, which is deflected behind. Donnarumma elects to punch the set-piece clear and that proves a wise choice. It has been all United at the start of the second half.
CHANCE! Borini has completed all 30 of the passes he has attempted – not bad going for an attacking player. Calhanoglu threads the ball through for Piatek, who has only De Gea to beat. Strangely, he takes the shot on first time and the effort is pretty shocking.
No idea what Piatek was thinking with that big chance a minute or so ago. He is usually so deadly in those situations and I can only assume he thought he was offside – why else would he opt to shoot from 15 yards rather than carry it through with nobody around him?
Biglia stamps on Lindelof’s foot and the United centre-back is in pain. It is a worry for Solskjaer, who has already lost Bailly to a long-term injury this pre-season, but he looks as though he will be OK to continue. That said, Lindelof is not happy with Biglia!
Rashford goes on a driving run but he tries to do too much and runs out of space. United have not really got going in the second half – in fact, they have not offered a great deal since about the 30-minute mark. Solskjaer may well be tempted to make a handful of subs.
GOAL! MANCHESTER UNITED 1-2 AC MILAN (VICTOR LINDELOF, OG)
This is going to go down as an own goal, I’m afraid. Castillejo flicks the ball on and the final touch comes off Lindelof as De Gea struggles to get down to it. The Red Devils’ winning streak is under real threat now, with just half an hour to play.
There is still plenty of room for improvement from United’s perspective, then, despite their largely positive pre-season form. Solskjaer is holding off from making any changes for now, but Milan have just made a few subs, including Reina for Donnarumma.
MANCHESTER UNITED SUBS! Solskjaer decides to use the stoppage in play to make his pre-planned subs. Among those to come in is Wales international Dan James, who receives a wonderful applause on home soil. I’ll bring you the rest of the changes once the game settles down.
Those United subs in full – there were not as many as expected – as James, Fred, Young, Tuanzebe and Lingard replace Wan-Bissaka, Rojo, Pereira, Matic and Mata. Silva is unable to direct his header on target as Milan chase a third goal.
Silva turns and shoots. The ball is blocked but nearly falls kindly for Piatek, who cannot quite wrap his boot around it. United have focused more on defending than attacking since going 2-1 down, in complete contrast to the opening 25 minutes.
SHOT! Shaw makes a brilliant connection with the ball once picked out by Young, but he cannot keep his shot on target. Still, that is a lot better from United, who have 20 minutes to find a goal or two.
James does well to create some space for himself and he gets the ball into the box, but Milan’s second-choice keeper Reina jumps on top of it. The spectators inside the Principality Stadium, largely made up of United fans, jeer the ex-Liverpool man whenever he is in possession.
GOAL! MANCHESTER UNITED 2-2 AC MILAN (JESSE LINGARD)
Young is caught in possession and the ball falls loose for Piatek, whose goal-bound shot – it could easily have been heading in – is blocked by Tuanzebe. Milan have looked a lot better than United in the second half but it is 2-2.
AC MILAN SUBS! There is another break in play now for Milan to make a flurry of changes. Plenty of younger players have come on for the final 12 minutes with the aim of helping the Italian side hold on. We will go to penalties if it stays all square.
Reina comes a long, long way off his line to clear the ball before Martial – who looked offside – can get to it. Daniel Maldini, the son of Milan legend Paolo, is among those to have come on for the Italian side. There are 10 minutes to go in Cardiff!
MANCHESTER UNITED SUBS! James is clattered into – something we have seen regularly in pre-season – by Maldini. The break in play gives Solskjaer a chance to bring on Gomes and Greenwood for Martial and Rashford.
United have been the side looking the more likely to score over the last five or 10 minutes. A 2-2 draw would be the right result, with both teams able to take positives away from the match. Penalties await in South Wales.
Greenwood swoops in to meet the left-sided cross but he heads wide from eight yards. Thankfully for him the offside flag is up – it was a bad miss. Milan are also looking for a winner – why not, I guess, as neither team really has anything to lose.
The match has become incredible stretched over the last few minutes. It is United’s turn to attack as Greenwood and James link up, with the latter’s shot inside the box being blocked. Can the Red Devils find a winner in the remaining four or five minutes?
SAVE! Lingard cannot get any power behind his shot and it deflects up into the path of Reina. United could do with 10 minutes of extra time because they are looking good value for a goal. As it is, only three minutes have been added on. James is fouled just inside the ‘D’ and United have a free kick in a promising position.
Fred, still waiting for his United career to take off, wins the right to take the free kick. He gets it up and over the wall but there is not enough distance for the ball to come back down. It ends in the stands and that will likely be that.
FULL TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 2-2 AC MILAN
Lingard does the hard work by carrying the ball into the box, but he shoots right at Reina when through on goal. That was the big chance to win it! His failure to do so means that we will go to penalties in Cardiff.
MANCHESTER UNITED 0-1 AC MILAN* – CALHANOGLU SCORES! Calhanoglu blasts the ball into the bottom left; De Gea goes to the bottom right.
MANCHESTER UNITED *1-1 AC MILAN – LINGARD SCORES! Lingard picks out the same corner as Calhanoglu. Reina guesses the right way but cannot keep it out.
MANCHESTER UNITED 1-2* AC MILAN – BONAVENTURA SCORES! As calm as you like from Bonaventura, who makes it three successful pens from three.
MANCHESTER UNITED *2-2 AC MILAN – YOUNG SCORES! Young almost takes the net off with his powerful strike right down the middle.
MANCHESTER UNITED 2-3* AC MILAN – SILVA SCORES! We have seen some brilliant pens so far, this as good as any of them from Silva into the bottom-left corner.
MANCHESTER UNITED *3-3 AC MILAN – GREENWOOD SCORES! Greenwood has a short run up but he sends Reina the wrong way. Great pen!
MANCHESTER UNITED 3-4* AC MILAN – KRUNIC SCORES! De Gea gets a fingertip to Krunic’s penalty, but not enough to keep it out.
MANCHESTER UNITED *4-4 AC MILAN – GOMES SCORES! Another short run-up, another successful pen. Gomes sends it into the top corner.
MANCHESTER UNITED 4-4* AC MILAN – MALDINI MISSES! Maldini does not get any power behind his penalty and does not pick out the corner, giving De Gea the opportunity to keep it out.
MANCHESTER UNITED *5-4 AC MILAN – JAMES SCORES! James, on Welsh soil, converts the penalty and United are winners!
MANCHESTER UNITED WIN 5-4 ON PENALTIES AFTER A 2-2 DRAW IN NORMAL TIME!