AC Milan v United: Our guide to the game
After playing pre-season games overseas in Perth, Singapore, Shanghai and Norway, Manchester United will be back on British soil for a clash with AC Milan in Cardiff on 3 August.
Our sixth outing of the summer will be a good test for the Reds on Saturday 3 August, ahead of our first Premier League fixture of 2019/20 the following weekend, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will embark on his first full campaign as manager.
The meeting with Milan at the Principality Stadium will be our third and final match in the International Champions Cup (ICC).
Here’s the essential info you'll need for this game…
HOW CAN I GET TICKETS?
WILL IT BE SHOWN ON MUTV?
Yes, the friendly match in South Wales, which will kick off at 17:30 BST on Saturday 3 August, will be shown live on MUTV.
HAVE WE PLAYED AT THE PRINCIPALITY STADIUM BEFORE?
Fans may know the stadium more commonly as the Millennium Stadium, where the Reds have played eight times before, winning three, drawing two and losing three of those previous matches. Interestingly, all of our victories at the ground have been by at least a three-goal margin, with our biggest win coming on the last visit when the Reds thumped Wigan Athletic 4-0 in the 2006 League Cup final. Of course, we have played elsewhere in the Welsh capital more recently and it was certainly a memorable occasion - United eased to a 5-1 win over Cardiff City last December in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game in charge.
WHAT’S THE STADIUM LIKE?
The multi-purpose venue is the national stadium of Wales and can seat up to 74,500 spectators. It’s the home of the Wales rugby union team and has also hosted matches for the Wales national football team. It was opened in June 1999 and was initially built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup. It has hosted a number of events including music concerts, the Speedway Grand Prix and the 2017 Champions League final, when Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1. While Wembley Stadium was being re-developed in the early 2000s, the stadium also staged six FA Cup finals – including the Reds’ 3-0 win over Millwall in 2004.
WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP?
The ICC is an international pre-season tournament which pits some of the best teams in the world together, in some of the globe’s most impressive stadiums. The competition’s format has altered over the years but in 2019, 12 teams will compete in the event, with each playing three matches in multiple venues throughout the world. This year, the tournament is staged across Europe, Asia and the United States of America and will ultimately see one side finish top of the 12-team group. It is also worth nothing that all games in the ICC which end in a draw are decided by a penalty shootout, with teams awarded two points for a win on penalties and one point for a shootout defeat.
WHO ELSE IS PLAYING?
United are joined in the tournament this year by Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, while the country providing the most clubs is Italy – Serie A is represented by Inter Milan, Juventus and Roma as well as our opponents AC Milan. The other teams taking part are Bayern Munich, Benfica, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, while Mexican outfit Guadalajara are the only non-European club in the competition.
WHAT’S OUR RECORD IN THE ICC LIKE?
This is the sixth time we have competed in the tournament. The Reds were crowned the winners in 2014, beating Liverpool in the final after overcoming Inter Milan, Roma and Real Madrid in the group stage. The following year, United finished third out of the 10 teams competing in the North America and Europe section, while in 2016, our game against rivals Manchester City in China had to be cancelled due to extreme weather. Last summer, the Reds won two out of three games, beating AC Milan on penalties and then Real Madrid 2-1, before losing to Liverpool.
WHO ARE AC MILAN?
Second only to Real Madrid in terms of European Cup wins with their seven triumphs, and Italy’s most successful club after Juventus, the San Siro outfit need little introduction. The club was founded by two Englishmen in 1899 as the Milan Football and Cricket Club, and although it soon lost its association with the latter sport, the anglicised name remains. Whereas other football clubs like Torino (Turin) and Napoli (Naples) are known by the Italian names for their respective cities, the Rossoneri (red and blacks) remain known as Milan, rather than Milano. Their triumphs have not been quite as regular during the last decade – local rivals Internazionale dominated the late 2000s, before Juventus took over in the current decade – but they remain a force to be respected.
HOW DID AC MILAN GET ON LAST SEASON?
Milan missed out on Champions League qualification after finishing fifth in Serie A – a solitary point and place behind their rivals Inter Milan. The Rossoneri also suffered disappointment in the Europa League after finishing third in their group behind Real Betis and Olympiacos. As for the Coppa Italia, they reached the semi-finals but were beaten 1-0 on aggregate by Lazio over two legs. At the start of the campaign, the Serie A side lost 1-0 to Juventus in the Italian Super Cup.
WHO IS THEIR MANAGER?
AC Milan are currently without a boss following the departure of club legend Gennaro Gattuso, who left at the end of May after a year and a half in charge of the San Siro outfit. He won 40 of his 83 games at the helm, drawing 23 and losing 20.
WHAT’S OUR RECORD AGAINST AC MILAN LIKE?
The Reds have a mixed record against the Italian side over the years. We have won five and lost five of our previous 10 competitive games against them, with the most recent encounter being our 4-0 win at Old Trafford in the Champions League last-16 second leg in March 2010. Of course, United met Milan a year ago in pre-season in our first International Champions Cup match of the summer. Alexis Sanchez’s early opener was quickly cancelled out by former Liverpool midfielder Suso Santana as the game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, before United won 9-8 in an epic penalty shootout.
WHO ELSE ARE WE PLAYING IN PRE-SEASON?
As previously mentioned, we start our pre-season tour with a game against Perth Glory on 13 July, before we meet Leeds United four days later. After that, our International Champions Cup (ICC) campaign will get under way against Inter Milan in Singapore on 20 July and continues against Tottenham Hotspur in Shanghai five days later. There is a friendly against Kristiansund in Norway, before our final ICC match against AC Milan on 3 August.