x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Pato grabs the goal but fails to impress and Ancelotti 'satisfied' with PSG

Alexandre Pato scored the only goal of the game as AC Milan ran out winners in the Dubai Football Challenge last night.

Paris Saint-Germain's Clement Chantome, centre, cannot escape the attention of AC Milan's Alberto Aquilani, left, and Philippe Mexes.
Paris Saint-Germain's Clement Chantome, centre, cannot escape the attention of AC Milan's Alberto Aquilani, left, and Philippe Mexes.

DUBAI // Alexandre Pato scored the only goal of the game as AC Milan ran out winners in the Dubai Football Challenge Wednesday night.

Yet such was the Brazilian's lacklustre performance that Carlo Ancelotti, Pato's former coach at the San Siro and the newly appointed manager of Paris Saint-Germain, was asked whether he thought the 22 year old had deliberately played badly as to avoid attention from the Paris club's wealthy Qatari owners.

It took only three-and-a-half minutes for PSG's defence to be breached. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan's Swedish forward, dropping a shoulder inside the area before scuffing his shot across the goal and Pato being left with the simple task of tapping into an empty net.

It was arguably his only meaningful attack of the game and he, like all 10 of his teammates, were substituted at half-time.

Antonio Nocerino rattled the crossbar with an overhead kick midway through the first half and in the second period Stephan El Shaarawy, the Italian striker with Egyptian heritage, showed clever feet to bring down a high ball, swivel and hit a sweet volley, but Nicolas Douchez in the PSG goal was equal to it.

For their part, PSG had the ball in the net twice, but both were ruled out by the officials. Ancelotti said he was "satisfied" with his team's performance.

"There was not just one player, we tried to play and we played some good football first half," he said. "It was good preparation, but now we have 10 days to prepare the team tactically and be ready for the restart to the season."

Inevitably, Ancelotti was asked about the failed transfer of David Beckham, to which he replied: "We had the possibility to sign Beckham, but he decided to stay in LA. We asked him if he wanted to play and he decided to stay. It is not our business. We maintain a good relationship with him and wish him good luck for the future."