New AC Milan goalkeeper Pepe Reina was happy to make long-awaited debut for the club and feels that the performance of the squad was good, despite losing to Manchester United in an epic penalty shoot-out
The Spain international replaced teenage shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 60th minute of the game at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles on Thursday morning to make his first appearance for Milan in their International Champions Cup fixture against United.
With the score at 1-1, Reina ensured that United did not find a way past the back of the net for the remaining 30 minutes of the game and starred in the penalty shoot-out.
The 35-year-old made an impressive three successive saves from Scott McTominay, Joel Pereira and Eric Bailly in the shoot-out.
But, despite his best efforts, Milan were unable to win the game after Franck Kessie missed his spot-kick to hand United the victory.
“The important thing is that the game is used to prepare for the season in the best way. Manchester United have been training for a while, they are a great team and physically they were better. Our performance was up to par,” said Reina told Milan TV, via Rossoneriblog.
“In my career I’ve been lucky enough to represent great teams, Milan is one of the most important clubs in my career. I’m very happy and honored to have played my first game with Milan, hoping to play at least 150 games with this shirt [smiles].”
On if it was unusual to face fellow goalkeeper Pereira in the shootout, Reina said: “It is not usual for a goalkeeper to kick penalties, I tried to help,”
“He [Joel Pereira] had kicked first and I was lucky enough to save it. Then I felt the confidence to go up and I took advantage of it, fortunately I kicked it well.
Milan will next face Tottenham on Wednesday at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota.
“Sono felice e onorato di aver giocato la mia prima partita con la maglia del Milan” ❤
Pepe Reina è uno dei protagonisti del post-partita di #ACMMUFC ?? https://t.co/UlwyAQsrgk#DevilsInUSA pic.twitter.com/6OWeLcaoGX
— AC Milan (@acmilan) July 26, 2018