Torino 2-0 AC Milan: Champions League looking tough for the Rossoneri

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AC Milan are on thin ice in the race for a spot in next year’s Champions League, following a terrible display away at Torino this evening, resulting in a 2-0 loss and a red card for their captain Alessio Romagnoli. 

The Rossoneri looked very scrappy from the start, failing to get their play up and running against a hard-working Torino side, who were energized by the home crowd. In fact, within the first 16 minutes, Milan had accumulated three yellow cards as Torino made the most out of a sluggish opposition.

Gattuso’s men managed to ride the early storm and were soon on top of the possession, though they didn’t create much of it. In the first half, they only managed to rack up two shots on target, both of which were quite comfortable for Torino’s goalkeeper Sirigu.

As the second half started, Rossoneri fans hoped to see a better performance from the players. However, the build-up play continued to be sloppy, and in general, too slow. Things went from bad to worse in the 56th minute, as the home side were awarded a cheap penalty after Kessie used his arms a bit too much against Izzo. Belotti made no mistakes from the spot, slotting it past Donnarumma, who went the wrong way.

Four minutes later, Gattuso decided to switch things up, and brought on both Borini and Piatek. The two replaced Suso and Paqueta, with Milan switching to a 4-4-2 formation. This change did have a positive impact, as the Rossoneri instantly looked better. In the 67th minute, Bakayoko hit the bar with a great header on Calhanoglu’s free-kick. An episode which could’ve changed the outcome of the game.

Instead, two minutes after that, Berenguer doubled Torino’s lead with a great effort on the edge of the box. However, the goal could easily have been prevented with better defending, as Musacchio headed the cross straight into the path of the player. In other words, you could say Milan gifted two goals.

Gattuso then threw on Castillejo for Conti, in need of the three points. In the 80th minute, the substitute managed to find Bakayoko in the box, who once again did brilliantly to head the ball goalwards. This time, however, Sirigu was equal to it with a splendid low save, and Bakayoko was notably frustrated as the ball went out of play.

Just one minute later, Romagnoli was sent off for sarcastically applauding the referee, really defining Milan’s evening at the Olimpico in Turin. If the Rossoneri are lucky, he will only receive a one-game ban, but that could very well result in a two-game ban. In any case, the Champions League race is certainly looking very tough for the San Siro side, who have now dropped to 7th place in the standings.

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