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.
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.”
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.
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.