08/04/2002. AC Milan have lost 2-1 to Liverpool in the battle of the losers in Real Madrid's centenary tournament. The Italian's lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich last night and their far from full strength team was beaten by the same scoreline by an equally weak Liverpool, who had lost 2-0 to Real Madrid on Friday night.
Liverpool welcomed back Steven Gerrard for his first pre-season outing since recovering from the injury that saw his miss the World Cup. However there was still no sign of Michael Owen, but Gerard Houllier will be encouraged by the displays of a number of youngsters in the team.
AC Milan's new signing Rivaldo wasn't given a chance to play in Spain once again and must wait for his debut, while his Brazilian team-mate Roque Junior, along with Filippo Inzaghi and Rui Costa were also missing.
The opening half an hour certainly felt like a friendly as both teams started the match at a leisurely pace with only half chances being created.
Summer arrival from Feyenoord, John Dahl Tomasson, unbelievably missed from just five yards out after good work from Andriy Shevchenko to cap a very poor first half from the Danish striker.
AC Milan were made to pay soon after Tomasson's miss as Liverpool took the lead through an own goal from Dario Simic, who deflected a Gerrard cross past his own goalkeeper Dida, who was far from assured during the match, especially airily.
Another dangerous cross from the returning midfielder saw them double their lead just minutes later through the extremely promising striker Milan Baros.
Shevchenko almost reduced the arrears in the final minute of the first half but the Ukrainian side footed the ball wide of Chris Kirkland and the post.
Milan began the second half quite dangerously and were soon back in the game when Tomasson made amends for his earlier miss by scoring past Liverpool's young goalkeeper.
Milan survived a major scare just minutes later when Dida prevented Gerrard from giving Liverpool a two goal lead once again. Much of the remainder of the second half was scrappy to say the least and Milan were unable to prevent defeat for the second day running.
Last night's referee (Real/Bayern) was a bit violent. He (accidentally) hit Santa Cruz's chin upwards while taking out the yellow card from his pocket. Bizarre incident. And I don't think I saw him apologizing