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Tactical Review of Milan's Mental Collapse in Turin Leading to a 2-1 Loss

AC Milan threw away a lead to lose 2-1 against Torino. Here’s our review of the game:

Mateo Musacchio (L) of AC Milan competes for the ball with... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

AC Milan threw away a lead to lose 2-1 against Torino. Here's our review of the game:

Musacchio Couldn’t Handle Belotti

Man for man, Musacchio was beaten by Andrea Belotti. The Argentine centre-back was unable to contain his Italian counterpart on multiple occasions and Milan were dealt two fatal blows as a result with a brace from Belotti when he ran right at Musacchio. The problem with Milan’s defensive approach in the past two games has been the passiveness of the defenders to make the tackle and to stand their ground. Conti was beaten similarly last week when he failed to stand his ground and Musacchio made the same error allowing Belotti to slot in a pass for Zaza. Something needs to improve with the man marking and the tackling by the Milan backline.

Piatek Has Been A Waste

Our Polish no. 9 has had a terrible start to the season and has netted twice from the penalty spot softening his dismal performances. Piatek lost this game for Milan. He was poor on the ball and could barely string a single pass together. Piatek was most disappointing when he wasted three amazing chances in one-on-one situations. Romagnoli’s square ball, Suso’s cross and his cut back from the right wing were all chances that should have ended up in the back of the net but alas Milan’s top striker couldn’t bring himself to hit the target. His poor finishing is killing Milan and Torino should not have been able to make a comeback in this game.

Milan Lacked Focus and Giampaolo’s Poor Subs

As commented by Bennacer in the Post Match interview, Milan fell asleep after the 70th minute. The Torino approach of lofting the ball over the midfield for Belotti and Zaza to chase was contained all game but Milan got caught out late in the second half. The concentration of the defenders could be called into question and the overall the team snoozed on their defensive duties handing golden opportunities to Torino. This was exacerbated by Giampaolo’s poor choice of substitutions after he nailed the starting line-up. Bonaventura should have replaced Calhangolu not Leao as this took the sting out of Milan’s game. Rebic should have replaced Piatek not Bennacer as this killed Milan’s flow. The in-game management of Giampaolo needs work and his substitutions needs to be more impactful.

A Tale of Two Halves

This game was truly heartbreaking for Milan fans as the team genuinely played their best 45 minutes of the season but they collapsed mentally in the second half. Milan in the first half looked dynamic and moved the ball around well. The impact of Leao and Hernandez on the left wing was incredible as Milan looked very threatening going forward from both wings as opposed to Suso being the sole creative outlet. Bennacer had a mixed start with a number of incomplete passes but his ball winning plays and fantastic long passes made up for it and he dominated the midfield. Milan have finally found some rhythm and need to emulate this against Fiorentina.

All Sizzle, No Steak Again

Milan kept 55% of the possession and managed 20 shots on goal however just 4 of these were on target. Torino were much more clinical with their chances and Milan’s poor showing in front of goal burned them. Piatek and Kessie both missed sitters while Suso and Calhanoglu did well to take on some long shots which went wide. The major issue was compounded from the previous week where Piatek and Suso did not pass to Leao when he was wide open with lots of room to run into. Milan played much better against Torino but still failed to take make their chances count, this needs to be the main improvement against Fiorentina.


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