AC Milan managed to secure a spot in the Coppa Italia semi-finals this evening, beating Torino by four goals to two. However, the game required extra-time and once again the performance could have been better.
Unlike many games this season, Milan looked good from the first minute and immediately showed the opponents their intentions for this game. Every time they advanced in attack, you could sense danger and it paid off early on for Stefano Pioli’s men.
Ante Rebic, who’s currently in red-hot form, did well on the left flank to beat his man with a nice move before sending the ball into the box. Although Kris Piatek didn’t get to it, Jack Bonaventura did and slotted home the first goal of the game. From there on, it looked like a second was coming,
Instead, in the 34th minute, Torino equalises through Bremer as the Rossoneri lost the ball at the other end. The away side did well to quickly break on the counter and eventually they had their goal. It’s hard to say if the defence could have done better, as Milan had committed many men forward.
Pioli’s men created a few half-chances before the whistle was blown for half-time, but the scores remained level. Certainly, given how many chances the home side had, you can definitely say that they were wasteful. At the same time, they conceded a sloppy goal.
At the beginning of the second half, both sides had their fair share of dangerous chances, but the final touch was missing on both ends of the pitch. 71 minutes in, though, Torino took the lead through Bremer, who bagged his second of the night to stun the Rossoneri.
For a long time, this looked like the winner. However, Hakan Calhanoglu wanted other things. The Turkish midfielder, who was brought on with nine minutes to go, scored the equaliser with a composed strike in the 91st minute. The goal, of course, was crucial for Milan.
It nearly got even better for the Rossoneri as Zlatan Ibrahimovic got a chance two minutes later, having replaced Kris Piatek earlier on in the second half. The Swede missed a sitter from close range, as Rafael Leao did brilliantly to set him up for what should have been the winner.
Instead, the game was forced into extra-time. The first half offered end-to-end play, with both sides creating several chances to take the lead. Hernandez came closest as Calhanoglu played him through on goal with a lovely ball, but the Frenchman’s effort was saved.
Just one minute into the second half of extra-time, though, Calhanoglu scored his second of the night. Kessie, who has just come on, managed to find the Turk on the left flank, who fired a rocket with his left foot past Sirigu in goal. Finally, Milan had turned the game around.
Two minutes later, Ibrahimovic added to the lead with a nice finish, set up by his strike partner Leao. The 38-year-old got his goal, but his performance was far from perfect. In fact, one could argue that he should have done a lot better. Nevertheless, he got his goal and sealed the 4-2 win.
The Rossoneri will face Juventus in the semi-finals of Coppa Italia, which certainly will be a tough two-legged encounter. However, with five consecutive wins in the bag, we can at least hope, although it’s still a long way to go.
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