Milan managed to bounce back in the best possible way this evening, beating Torino by two goals to nil after the 3-1 loss against Juventus mid-week. A strong message by Stefano Pioli’s men, who certainly have shown that they are stronger than whatever difficulties they may face.
As a result of the win, the Rossoneri will remain top of the standings for at least one more matchday. Claiming 40 points after 17 games is indeed special and certainly nothing that Milan fans would have imagined at the start of the season. Yet again, the Scudetto dreams don’t seem too far away.
Rafael Leao opened the scoring just 25 minutes, as Theo Hernandez opened up some space with a trademark run. Brahim Diaz received the ball and managed to find the Portuguese youngster with one touch, setting him free against Salvatore Sirigu in the Torino goal. The striker made no mistakes with a cool finish.
Less than ten minutes later, Diaz was in the spotlight once again as he did brilliantly to get past his marker on the edge of the box. He continued his run and was eventually founded by Andrea Belotti, and although a VAR check was required to confirm the penalty, it was clear as day.
Franck Kessie stepped up and sent Sirigu the wrong way, doubling the Rossoneri’s lead in style. From there on, Pioli’s men were very smart in preserving energy, which is very important amid the hectic schedule. Torino were allowed to pass the ball around as they barely threatened Gigio Donnarumma’s goal anyway.
In the second half, Milan got both good and bad news. Starting with the latter, Sandro Tonali was forced to leave the pitch on a stretcher after he was kicked by Simone Verdi. The referee initially blew the whistle for a penalty but VAR stepped in, prompting him to change his decision.
Yet again, therefore, Davide Calabria had to move to the midfield as Diogo Dalot was subbed on by the manager. Five minutes later, Hakan Calhanoglu entered the pitch and got a good 30 minutes in his legs, which is a good sign given that Pioli didn’t need to bring him on amid the scoreline. It suggested that his issue isn’t that serious.
With five minutes to go, Zlatan Ibrahimovic got to make his comeback as he came off the bench for Leao. The Swede’s first appearance since the game against Napoli back in November, which was 12 games ago. Even more important now, as Leao was booked (although the referee made a mistake) and will miss the Cagliari clash.
A strong performance and above all an important message, as mentioned, to the other top sides in the league. Now, the Rossoneri will have to recover quickly for Tuesday’s clash in the Coppa Italia round of 16, where they will face Torino again.
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