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Milan v Torino 1-0 (Match Recap)

Milan positive, Rebic Rampant

Ante Rebic versus Torino (Serie A)

After conceding late against Juventus and drawing the game, Stefano Pioli and his team were looking to come back strong as they continue a positive period of form in the second half of the season. Having fired Walter Mazzari, Torino are yet to reap any rewards after conceeding three goals in a loose defensive performance in against Sampdoria last week. Torino are always a tricky side to beat and Marcelo was hoping to initiate an uptick in form at the San Siro.

Lining up in the 4-4-1-1, Milan lined up ten of the eleven players from the game against Juventus with Paqueta replacing Calhanoglu who sustained a hip injury last week. Kjaer and Romagnoli started off from central positions in defense while Theo Hernandez and Calabria held the flanks. Rebic and Castillejo played on either side of the midfield duo of Bennacer and Kessie while Paqueta occupied the hole behind Zlatan upfront.

Torino went with a 3-4-3 formation with Nkolou, Breimer and Lyanco occupying the central defensive areas. De Silvestri and Ansaldi played out as advanced wing-backs leaving Lukic and Rincon to man the midfield behind the a slightly adjusted trident of Edera, Belotti and Berenguer.

In the first minutes, Milan looked to build out from the flanks but the Çalhanoğlu’s absence meant that switching defence to attack was not as fluid as we’ve recently matches. On the wings, it was Samu who had the most effect getting up and down the pitch with remarkable verve and completely taming Berenguer and Ansaldi on the right side.

Bennacer versus Torino (Coppa Italia)
Bleacher report

Torino made their first attempt on goal after some intricate passing between Edera and Berenguer almost led to a goal but generally found chances hard to come by. Il Granata looked to break the press with intricate passes from the back but failed miserably when a perfectly executed press resulted in Berenguer losing the ball on the right side. Castillejo found a yard and the incoming Rebic with a low diagonal from the right and the Croatian took full advantage.

Theo, missed an excellent chance to make it two by scuffing a counter attack and stopping for the foul instead of slipping an early ball to Rebic on the left. Throughout the first half, Il Granata were relegated to speculative balls into the Milan area and set pieces. Simon Kjaer was taken off in a proactive move after a what seems like a sprain and the young Gabbia was introduced. After the first half, Milan were firmly in control of proceedings but the second half was a different picture.

The second half began with two quick counter attacks from Milan but wasteful play by Zlatan and Castillejo meant that Milan had to produce a sterling defensive performance to claim all three points. Torino, sensing the weakness in the Milan defence - with Gabbia’s introduction - tried to circumvent the midfield with aerial balls launched in the general direction of Belotti. After failing to find any holes, they looked to box Milan in with well crafted plays from the back against a jaded Milan team.

Changes such as Bonaventura and Leao created some fresh impetus for Milan but did little to alter the balance of the game. For Torino, substitutions, Zaza and Ola Aina tried but failed to inspire a late comeback.

In the end, Milan and especially Bennacer, put in a vintage defensive performance to create some upward movement on the league table but will need to recover in time for a difficult trip to Florence. Torino on the other hand, are going through a torrid period and will look to build on the positives from the fixture as they take on Parma at the Stadio Olimpico later this week.