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Tactical Review of AC Milan's Extra Time 4-2 Coppa Victory Over Torino At Home

A comeback. A victory. A Calhanoglu brace. An Ibrahimovic goal. It was a good day. Here's our review:

AC Milan v Torino - Coppa Italia: Quarter Final Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

AC Milan defeated Torino 4-2 in extra time in the Coppa Italia thanks to a Calhanoglu brace to set up a semi final against Juventus next month. Here's the review of the game:

Bennacer Is Phenomenal

The Algeria international commanded the midfield and the game once again. It is unbelievable how much of an impact he makes for the team. Milan has been craving a regista for years and he has assumed the passing role whilst simultaneously playing more defensively. His knack for intercepting is so underrated as he breaks up play non-stop and we have gotten used to it forgetting Biglia/Montolivo struggling to run. Bennacer is on his way to becoming a complete midfielder but has one flaw - he always takes on the responsibility to make the dirty challenge thus earns too many yellow cards. In the long run, we want him on the pitch throughout not missing out on key games as he will this weekend.

Ibrahimovic Needs To Be Clinical

To begin, I understand everyone who says that Ibrahimovic contributes to the atmosphere and the winning mentality. Also the fact that he contributes significantly despite him missing a couple of sitters. However, this opinion will only last as long as Milan’s winning streak continues. The day Zlatan misses another point blank chance and Milan lose the game, the feeling will turn sour real quick. The 38 year old needs to figure out what’s wrong and fix it, perhaps avoid the toe poke and go for the side footed shot. He is too good to miss such opportunities, he could’ve easily had 4/5 goals at this point.

Calhanoglu + Kessié = <3

The most polarising players for Milan over the past two or so seasons have been Suso, Calhanoglu and Kessie. In the Coppa, Kessie and Calhanoglu collaborated to give us the lead while Suso was on the bench gearing up for his exit. Kessie provided a sublime assist on his first touch of the ball while Calhanoglu scored a stunning brace with two bangers that saved Milan at the death. The duo demonstrated that they have something to offer for the rest of the season and can make a difference in difficult situations. Calhanoglu particularly looked impressive in the free roam midfield role as he was forcing the opposition to scramble thus opening spaces.

Rebic Is The Secret Weapon

Ante Rebic is the key to success for Milan in the second half of the season and needs to be used efficiently. What excited me most when he joined was that we were getting a player with attitude, who would bully oppositions similar to the likes Mario Mandzukic, Diego Costa and Luis Suarez. He demonstrated that combative side against Torino and was a thorn in their side throughout the game. These attributes give Milan an edge and give the opposition something to worry about as his direct approach and his bullish nature make for confrontation that wins fouls and creates opportunities.

Solid In Game Management From Pioli

Stefano Pioli is not a top tier manager by any means but his in game management is second to none. The former Fiorentina man is fantastic at identifying area to improve during the game and has enacted impactful substitutions through his win streak in January. Against Torino, he was brave enough to take off the under-performing Piatek and the fading Bonaventura for Leao and Ibrahimovic early enough to change the game. His introduction of Calhanoglu for Krunic transformed the midfield and led to vital goals. Most importantly his bold move to thrown on Kessié added energy to the midfield and overpowered Torino in extra time to earn a key victory.