AC Milan 0-1 Torino (AET): Rossoneri dumped out of the cup by 10-man Toro

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan suffered an embarrassing exit from the Coppa Italia as they were beaten 1-0 in extra time by a Torino side who played over 50 minutes with ten men.

After throwing away a two-goal lead against Roma at the weekend it was important for a response to arrive under the lights of San Siro, but it was yet another abject and worrying performance as Milan failed to score in 120 minutes of action.

When Djidji saw red with a large chunk of normal time remaining it seemed as though the Rossoneri would be able to make their numerical superiority and dominance pay, but it was a sucker punch on the counter in the second half of extra time that saw Ivan Juric’s men through.

Stefano Pioli opted to field a somewhat experimental line-up with Matteo Gabbia, Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori in a back three, Alexis Saelemaekers and Sergino Dest as wing-backs, Aster Vranckx, Sandro Tonali and Tommaso Pobega in midfield and Charles De Ketelaere joined up front by Brahim Diaz.

The opening 10 minutes of the game passed virtually without incident as the two sides felt each other out in a very cagey beginning to the match.

Torino had the first big opportunity of the game as the run of Sasa Lukic from midfield was not followed by anyone and the Serbia international got off a low shot inside the box that Ciprian Tatarusanu did well to save.

Milan were very close to taking the lead bang on 25 minutes after another passage in which very little happened. A period of pressure on the edge of Torino’s box ended with Dest unleashing a shot that deflected up into the air and almost beat the back-peddling Milinkovic-Savic yet he tipped it over the bar.

From the resulting corner the Rossoneri were even closer to going a goal up as a whipped delivery to the near post was glanced towards the far corner by De Ketelaere, but such is his luck at the moment that it hit the inside of the post and bounced clear.

Milan continued to exert pressure during the final stages of the first half, with Dest slashing a half volley over the bar from the edge of the box and then De Ketelaere being denied from a similar range with a shot that was straight at Milinkovic-Savic.

There were a couple of half chances for both sides in the opening exchanges of the second half as Torino first flashed a low ball across goal that was asking for a touch, and at the other end Pobega flicked a feed from Dest into the air and acrobatically fired an effort towards goal that was rather comfortably parried away.

The Rossoneri continued to probe the visitors’ defence, and a couple of corners in quick succession in the 55th minute ended with Tonali slashing an effort wide after a lay-off from Pobega.

Shortly after Torino had a good spell of pressure themselves, Pioli decided to make a double change midway through the second half as Junior Messias and Rafael Leao came on for Saelemaekers and Brahim Diaz.

Messias almost made an instant impact as a brilliant ball over the top from Tonali found the run of the Brazilian who lofted an effort over Milinkovic-Savic from a narrow angle but ultimately past the far post.

A huge moment came in the 70th minute as Messias looked to burst through on goal after a Torino corner was cleared, but Djidji brought him down and was shown a yellow card, which was his second and thus a red followed.

A couple of changes came with just less than 15 minutes on the clock as Pioli looked to get the job done in normal time, with Theo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud coming on for Gabbia and Pobega.

A final substitution was made inside the final 10 minutes as Ismael Bennacer came on for Vranckx, just after Theo Hernandez had fiercely struck a half volley that at Milinkovic-Savic from 20 yards out.

The Torino keeper was called into action in the second of five added minutes to tip a Theo Hernandez shot wide of the post, though it was going wide anyway.

Milan as expected piled on the pressure early in extra time and should have probably taken the lead when a corner found Leao at the far post whose low effort deflected towards three Rossoneri players who were a few yards out yet none of them reacted in time to steer it in.

The two sides traded chances as tired legs began to show, with Dest having a low shot through a crowd well saved and Linetty blazing over at the other end, providing a reminder of the dangers of committing too many men forward.

The opportunities continued to come as a deflected cross from Leao was brought down by Giroud deep inside the area but again Milinkovic-Savic was equal to the attempt.

A sixth substitution (one extra becomes available in extra time) was made with 10 minutes to go as Davide Calabria came on for Dest.

Just as it seemed likely that Torino might settle for penalties, they went up the other end and scored with a devastating counter-attack. Two substitutes combined as Bayeye was set free down the right flank and he served a perfect feed to Adopo who finished from close range with six minutes left on the clock.

In the end that would be enough to secure progression into the last eight of the competition for the Granata, who face the winner of Fiorentina against Sampdoria.

Tags AC Milan Milan Torino


  1. Well, Maldini thinks Ac is a competitive team for 4 fields. So, he is wrong because there are only 3. Still, yes, players can play on each competition, but Italian fans should get used to losses, until Ac change the owners. Hint : Manchester United and Liverpool with their owners.

  2. Pioli should go.
    Those boys are better than what they are playing. Ever since Ibra was told to let Pioli do all the work, it’s been a downhill roll.

  3. Big brain Milan move right there. Its better to focus on the champions league and serie a where we have a higher possibility of winning.

  4. Pioli thought our B team can handle it. And honestly we were more unlucky than anything else. I cannot see this team be competitive outside of Italy but they were better than Torino. Feel bad for Charles as first Ochoa and now the post keeps him from scoring.
    Bad luck runs out though in the end. We had it against Roma and had it again today.

    1. “And honestly we were more unlucky than anything else.”

      I love your optimism/positivity but the truth is that we weren’t unlucky. We played like crap and deserved to lose. Torino created better chances with 10 men than Milan in the whole 120 mins and that’s just pathetic.

  5. Listen, Maldini better wake up and realize we need an attacker. We have looked a shadow of the team compared to last year. I bit my tongue for a while now but we don’t look like a team who’s going to win the scudetto. Injuries aside something has to be done. We can’t rely on ibrahimovic rebic origi and giroud to the end of the year. We have only had giroud so far! Someone of quality has to be brought in or goodbye to this season. They look Sooo bad

    1. How does a new attacker help when the service is non-existing? No matter if it’s Haaland on the pitch as the ball doesn’t arrive in the box. The main issue is lack of creativity and providing service to the attacking quartet.

  6. I dont know why they brought these kind of players in the summer. Primavera players would have been just as good, and cardinale would have saved a bunch of money. Maldini has produced miracles in the past with his signings, but he messed up big time with cdk. To all of you that say he young, please. Slow, average at best technique, physically soft. Well, hopefully we can hang on in top 4 this season. We are very poor at the moment. In fact, we’ve been that way before world cup. Lets see if we can turn it around.

  7. Irrelevant game that showed us just how little depth we have and how dependant we are on 2 or 3 players having a good day. This is not how you win titles and championships.

    We will of course learn nothing from this, we will of course not buy RW or another CF, we will of course lose to Inter in Supercoppa, and we will of course be knocked out of UCL by Tottenham, and maybe, just maybe, if we are very lucky we end the season in position 3 or 4.

    While everyone else was buying players, we were losing them on free.

    1. Pioli has his limits we all know that, thats why he gets paid so little. However, he has a very poor depth in the squad. Once one or 2 players from starting 11 is injured or missing, thats it. There simply no back up. Might as well play the janitor instead.

  8. Milan needs desperately a midfielder that can actually pass the ball.
    All we have in the midfield are runners, nothing else.
    CDK might be a lot of things, but he isn’t a n10. A n10 look for the ball, demands the ball, doesn’t hide from it. He neither has the skill, nor the mentality to be a n10. I don’t know where the idea came that he is a n10 when he actually played as a striker in Brugge. He was much better up front than in the midfield.

    1. Yep. No one with any hint of creativity on the pitch. Did you enjoy the last 10 minutes of the regular time as every pass was painfully slow and inaccurate? That’s how good our players are at passing. A f*ng nightmare.

  9. The team lacks a versatile striker and the results clearly show this. They are finding it too difficult to score! Moreover, the hay days of particular players are over, i.e. Florenzi, Origi, Rebic, Giroud, Ibra, etc. Furthermore, certain carelessness in passing is quite evident and more tactical discipline is required. Tomori is not in his optimum stretch and concedes when under pressure to his opponent.

  10. I’m a big Pioli fan but the last two games really make me wonder if he has any ability to make in game adjustments. As soon as he put the starters in it became a gross crossover between hero ball and shapeless desperation. Milan had like 20 corners and barely threatened. The players are better than that. The goal was a consequence of not staying in shape and just playing desperately. There were times when Messias was in the LB position Theo stayed up the whole extra time and Leao took himself out of the attack by dropping so deep. Did Pioli forget Leao is the only attacker who can create his own chances? And Giroud wtf? He was playing defense. Giroud was terrible and really seemed determined to be more wasteful than Messias. I’m very greatlful for everything Pioli has done but if Milan can’t at least figure out how to threaten more consistently from set pieces then Milan may be in for very rough second half.

  11. How can you go for 120 minutes without a goal and leave a CF in the bench – Giroud is all French fancy flicks and little else at the moment – we have a young CF eager to play and left on the bench – going to be a battle to finish top 4 this season

    1. Giroud can score goals. Lazetic doesn’t. That’s the main difference. Has Lazetic shown ANYTHING to deserve the trust (that he could find the net)? Nope.

  12. Our new owners have no intention of spending on reinforcements so we may get used to this.
    Thats 3 friendly losses a thrown away lead at roma and a loss to 10 man Torino!
    Now ask yourself what happens when we face a good team, like Tottenham?
    Answer – The Italian champions get humiliated

    We have 9 players we should keep and get rid of the rest.
    Honestly id rather see the primavera guys than this bunch

  13. If these last few games don’t show the need to buy a few players in January then nothing will. Of course we won’t – Maldini said “we will practically do nothing” lol. Shame. Can’t replace starters with young unproven players and expect they will all develop right away into stars. if we are serious about defending our title we will make a few reasonable purchases (Aouar) or loans (Zyiech) to give us a chance to repeat. Otherwise we will barely hold on to 4th place. What a shame. Pls sell Poegba to Torino and/or swap him with Singo. Gabbia can go as well and play Thiaw. Also why Adli wasn’t given an opportunity is beyond me. What a waste of a player’s talent. CDK gets so many opportunities and has yet to produce and Adli gets one and is relegated to the bench and a player like Poegba who does t have the skills to play CAM gets the nod over him? Strange.

  14. Experiment gone wrong. The game started with players whose primary job is to catch the ball, stop the opponent from scoring, hold the ball, create chances for the scorer. But there was no one whose primary job is to SCORE THE GOAL. If he truly wanted to experiment, he should have started one of the young strikers.

    But it’s good to have this kind of eye-openers early before things become irredeemable.

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