Peter Bosz’s fine start to life at Borussia Dortmund continued as the Bundesliga side beat AC Milan 3-1 in the inaugural game of 2017 International Champions Cup at the Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre Central Stadium.
The Rossoneri have been the biggest movers in the transfer market, signing a host of big-names as they look to reestablish themselves as European heavyweights, but on a hot and sultry day in the Far East, they were undone by Dortmund’s lightning speed start.
With barely 20 minutes on the clock, Die Borussen were cruising with a 2-0 lead and looked like they would run over their Italian opponents.
Nuri Sahin’s first-time shot from the edge of the box beat Marco Storari in the 16th minute despite the Italian veteran getting a hand on the ball and four minutes later, Dortmund had doubled their lead.
Former AC Milan striker Piere-Emerick Aubameyang stepped up to take a penalty after Christian Pulisic had been bundled over by Gabriel Paletta in the box and Storari stood no chance as the Gabonese striker smashed home the spot-kick.
Credit to Milan, however, for stemming the tide as they fought back but needed a stroke of luck to get themselves on the scoresheet.
Carlos Bacca, set to be on the peripheries of the first-team at Milan this summer after their flurry of signings, gave his coach Vincenzo Montella timely reminder of his qualities with a long-range shot that somehow crept past Roman Weidenfeller in the 24th minute.
The game slowed down considerably after the break-neck start and while Dortmund looked dangerous on the break, they were unable to find another goal as the teams went into the interval with the score reading 2-1 in the German side’s favour.
Montella introduced summer signings Mateo Mussachio and Hakan Calhanoglu at half-time while Bosz put it Dominik Reimann and Felix Passlack as the coaches looked to liven proceedings in the second period.
Storari put himself in a spot of bother early on as Milan tried to play the ball out from the back only for Dortmund to release Aubayemang, but the linesman saved the Rossoneri’s blushes with an offside call.
Aubameyang, who was at Milan from 2007-11, was not to be denied a second time, however, as he slid home to tap-in a Pulisic cross two minutes after the hour mark. He had spoken of his excitement of meeting his former employers for the first time since his move and put in a clinical display to remind them of what could have been.
Milan had a chance of their own a minute before conceding, with a direct free-kick from the edge of the box but for once Calhanoglou could not work his dead-ball magic as his shot got a deflection off the wall into a corner.
Both managers continued to introduce a number of players in the second-half, but neither player was able to really change the tempo of the game and Dortmund held on for a morale-boosting win.
Dortmund’s time in Asia is done and they fly back to Germany to face VFL Bochum on Saturday while Milan next play Bayern Munich on the same day in China.