Photo by: Jeremy Olson -


Chelsea Bests AC Milan 3-1 in Front of Record Crowd at US Bank Stadium

by on 3 August 2016

Minneapolis, Minn.

US Bank Stadium opened its doors to the public for the first time on Wednesday night, hosting a sold out 64,101 fans to watch Chelsea defeat AC Milan 3-1.

AC Milan had the better possession for the first half, but the game took time to boil. In the 16th minute, Luiz Adriano threaded a wonderfully weighted pass through to Niang Mbaye, who put the ball wide.

The game finally opened up in the 24th minute when Victor Moses swooped in from the flanks and put a shot on the far post. Gianluigi Donnarumma saved the shot, but Bertrand Traore met the rebound and headed it easily home to put Chelsea up 1-0. Cesar Azpilicueta caused Milan another scare when he sent in a long shot from 35 yards out that went wide.

AC Milan weren’t without their chances as later in the half Giacomo Bonaventura sent in a dipping shot from distance that Courtois parried.

In the 38th minute, Milan finally struck back when Bonaventura slipped a free kick into the near post.

Milan had a good chance to go ahead early in the second half when a good passing sequence from the Italians led to Ignazio Abate shooting just wide from outside the box. A minute later, Nian Mbaya made a mazy run into the box and had his shot to the far post tipped wide.

Milan’s Donnarumma was forced into action in the 57th minute when Willian sent a stinging shot in from the corner of the box. He parried the ball upward and had to make another quick save as the ball leered toward his net.

Chelsea earned a penalty in the 69th minute when Andrea Poli was called for a handball in the box. Oscar stepped up to the spot and faced off against the 17 year-old Donnarumma and placed his penalty into the top right corner to put Chelsea ahead 2-1.

Oscar doubled his tally when Juan Cuadrado slipped him through the defense. The Brazilian turned and slid the ball into the far post.

The match itself tried to compete with the spectacle of the venue. The atmosphere had something of a bloodless hush as the crowd politely took in the match. A Mexican wave went around the stands, a few oles were sung out, but mostly the crowd had come to watch.

The crowd of 64,101 broke the record for largest crowd for a soccer match in Minnesota history. The previous record was 52,621 on May 29, 1984 when the Minnesota Strikers hosted the Tampa Bay Rowdies (it was a double-bill with the Beach Boys).

After the match, Chelsea’s new manager, Antonio Conte, discussed Oscar’s future with the club, saying, “Oscar is an important player. The season when Chelsea won the title, he had a fantastic season. Last season was a bad season… for all. I think Oscar is a great talent and he can improve a lot. But I am seeing a good attitude and a good will.”

Both managers were complimentary of the new US Bank Stadium and particularly the grass that was laid over the artificial turf. AC Milan’s manager, Vincenzo Montella, called the atmosphere “fantastic.”

Chelsea FC

Thibault Courtois, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Ola Aina, Cesar Azpilicueta, Cesc Fabregas, Nemaja Matic, Willian, Bertrand Traore, Victor Moses, Diego Costa

AC Milan

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Calabria Davide, Gabriel Paletta, Ignazio Abate, Romagnoli Alessio, Giacomo Bonaventura, Andrea Poli, Kucka Juraj, Luiz Adriano, Fernandez Jesus (Suso), Niang Mbaye

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