AC Milan 1-0 Torino: Giroud’s goal makes it nine wins out of ten for the Rossoneri

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan made it nine wins out of ten to begin the Serie A season but they were made to work very hard for the three points as they beat Torino 1-0.

If being generous it might be accurate to describe Milan’s performance as efficient, with the only real chance they generated resulting in the opening goal inside the first 15 minutes with Olivier Giroud in the right place at the right time to stab home a flicked on corner.

The early goal might have in theory opened the game up somewhat what Ivan Juric’s side inclined to attack more but the spaces in behind and on the counter never opened up, with the Granata being the ones generating the chances.

In the end though it would be three points and a much-needed lean sheet for the Rossoneri as they moved three points clear atop the Serie A table, at least until Napoli play Bologna on Wednesday night.

Head coach Stefano Pioli made five changes to his starting line-up compared to the one that beat Bologna as Alessio Romagnoli and Pierre Kalulu came into the back four, Franck Kessie returned to the midfield, Alexis Saelemaekers took back his spot on the right wing and Olivier Giroud got the nod up front.

The opening exchanges were cagey and frantic from both sides with Torino having more of the possession if anything, but Buongiorno went into the book on the five minute mark for holding Saelemaekers back on the break which gave the visitors and early caution to be wary of.

Within ten minutes Milan had their own centre-back booked as Romagnoli was given a yellow card for arriving late into a challenge with Belotti, who slowly got to his feet and was able to continue.

In the 14th minute, Milan took the lead and it came via their first chance of the game. An outswinging corner from Sandro Tonali on the right was met by the head of Rade Krunic at the near post and his flick-on found Giroud at the far post, who had the simple job of tapping it into an almost empty net from a yard out to register his fourth goal in his sixth Serie A game.

That certainly settled any early apprehension that might have been developing after the uneventful stat, and had Saelemaekers picked out a better pass towards Giroud following a Leao-led break midway through the first half it could have been better, but the Belgian underhit his ball towards the penalty spot.

Leao was the latest to let fly and he drew a save from Milinkovic-Savic in the Torino goal with a shot from 25 yards out central to the goal, though it was an easy save for the Serbian to make as the ball curled into his arms.

The final chance of the first half came via another set piece for the Rossoneri as Tonali whipped in another teasing delivery from near the byline that was glanced on again by Krunic, though this time it sailed narrowly wide of the far post.

Pioli opted to make a double change at the break with Kalulu having struggled to contain Singo down Torino’s right side, and it was Theo Hernandez who came on for his first appearance since the win over Atalanta. Simon Kjaer also came on for Romagnoli, who was on a yellow card as well as the Frenchman.

The first chance of the second half came through what was only the second corner of the game to that point as Milan loanee Pobega headed over the bar from the delivery of former Milan defender Ricardo Rodriguez.

The Granata had another opportunity not long after as Linetty slid Belotti through in behind but facing a narrow angle he scuffed his shot over a sliding Kjaer and Tatarusanu was able to gather gratefully. The Torino duo would be subbed off immediately after in place of Sanabria and Praet.

The game descended into being very scrappy with neither team able to build much momentum as Torino gave little space away for the counter, and a double change came from Pioli with 25 minutes left as Ismael Bennacer and Tiemoue Bakayoko came on for Tonali and Krunic.

Space did begin to open up and inside the final 20 minutes Saelemaekers should have done a lot better when he strode into space 25 yards out, instead skewing a shot way over and wide.

There was a real scare for Milan inside the final fifteen minutes when the substitute Sanabria was found in space on the left side of the box but Tatarusanu just about managed to get his hands to the Paraguay international’s shot across goal and keep it out.

Theo Hernandez was given half a yard to let fly from just outside the box and the Frenchman launched into a shot, but it whistled way over the bar.

Torino grazed the crossbar not long after as Praet had a half-volley deflected onto the top of the woodwork though it appeared that the Belgian had pushed Tomori to get himself the space to shoot.

With four minutes left on the clock a final change came as Giroud made way following a solid shift, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on.

The final chance of the game was wasted by the away side as a corner was met at the near post and Brekalo could not gather himself in time to convert from close range. Milan saw out the remaining seconds on the clock to secure another big win and a vital clean sheet after the recent defensive struggled.

Tags AC Milan Milan Torino


  1. Another terrible performance, we cant use this system anymore. We aren’t compact enough and we are getting ripped apart by lesser teams.

    1. Lol. All these terrible wins. We should switch to a 4-3-3 so we can go 4W-3D-3L over the next 10 games. We’ll be in top form then, I’d say!

      1. Nah 4-3-3 won’t suit us…I fear the Liverpool game..because we play like a poorer version of Man Utd..same formation..same mistakes…maybe a 3-4-1-2 or 3-4-3. Because this is not working. They are going to embarrass us.

        1. I might jump to conclusion here but Pretty sure he was being sarcastic in regard of changing a formation that works to something else that might not work 😀

          1. On a serious note, I don’t think a formation change is the answer. Putting aside the fact that we’ve played 4 games in 10 days with many starters missing and NO depth and are still top of Serie A, I say Pioli should try Tonali higher up on the pitch. Try the boy at AMC. Try the reverse Pirlo. It may be the move of the decade the same way Carletto moved Pirlo back to holding midfield. And this way we can play all of Kessie, Bennacer and Tonali without messing with the tactical scheme.

          2. 😀 yeah had we just kept the norwegian messi we would also have won all of our cl games. Funny people also wanted to sack pioli for not fielding him enough and i also recollect that some people professed that pioli would have been sacked by this time of the season.

            changing formation after over a years fortune would indeed not be the answer in my view unless its for 1 match or something as a complete change would be gambling everything we build in that time frame. Playing tonali up there as an experiment certainly wouldnt be as problematic as changing formation or playing style and as such i wouldnt be completely against that but it could also posses another huge problem if we lose one of them with injuries as the 3 cms are pretty much the motor of the team. Maybe it would work though so if theres a game where we can afford to make a few gambles maybe it could be worth testing that idea of yours.

  2. If that’s our performance dip of the season I will gladly take it. 3points.
    Poor show at best; we didn’t manage to control the tempo or the midfield at any given part of the match.
    Hope we recover soon as the next few games are quite significant.

  3. Great teams don’t play well every game. They find ways to win even when they are playing poorly. A clean sheet and another three points. Well done lads!

  4. Terrible performance and 3 points as a matter of luck. We could lose easily if there were no saves and blocks in the last 20 minutes. We need Rebic and Diaz back asap. No idea how we are going to handle Roma at their home.
    Kjaer is kinda nervous last two games. He had argues with other defs and GK. Not a good sign. I hope our dressing room is ok.

  5. A bit of a lethargic perfomance but considering all the injuries/covid19 cases and players just getting back from injury i’ll gladly take this result. Obviously it was highly unlikely that we would win 7-0 again or even something reminescent of that result but it was nevertheless a bit worrying perfomance as torino could have equalized but i have no doubt that we will soon start playing better again when we have more of our players back in form. Anyways we got the win and that is basically all that matters.

    1. Exactly, we need our starters back. Leao looks gassed too. Rebic, Diaz, Theo all need to come back into the fold so we can play at top gear again.

      1. had we just diaz and rebic them for 25 minutes today we would have been able to put more pressure on them no question about that and if we had them in full form it would have been a completely different match, As theo played the entire second half im fairly confident that he will play at minimum the majority of the game against roma and that will certainly give us some extra power going forward.

  6. Great teams don’t always play well. Instead, they find ways to win even when playing poorly. 8 absences including our starting playmaker and goalkeeper. Three points and a clean sheet to boot. What more could you ask for? Well done lads!!!

  7. Great teams don’t always play well. Instead, they find ways to win even when playing poorly. Three points and a clean sheet. What more can you ask for? Well done lads!

    1. Absolutely, if a team can win when not even playing very well and being as injury stricken as we have been lately its a great sign of promise in the long run.

  8. 3 games without Brahim cost Milan bad performances. Nobody can play rithm and create changes for the team as good as him. It means, in January Milan need another playmaker in the team.

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