Torino 2-1 AC Milan: Five things we learned

By Ivan Stoev -

After a defeat in the Derby della Madonnina against Inter, Milan travelled to face Torino in their mid-week fixture.

However, the expected reaction did not come as a brace from Andrea Belotti inside the final 20 minutes was enough to overthrow the Rossoneri’s first half lead.

After an impressive start to the game, it seemed like Milan had control and could have padded their lead, but everything fell apart after the equaliser and Giampaolo’s side could not even rescue a point.

Here are five things we learned…

1. Time to put the pistol in the holster

Another below the average performance from the Pole as he scored yet another penalty goal to make it two for the season but failed to have any other impact on the game.

While many were thinking he will get his confidence back after scoring his first Serie A goal this campaign, that has not been the case.

As well as his lack of goals he is struggling to control the ball, and when he does have the opportunity to hit the ball on the first touch, he is disappointing again.

Ante Rebic and Rafael Leao both seem to be in better form than the Polish international and would be logical to bench Piatek.

2. Change at the back

Milan acquired Leo Duarte from Flamengo last summer, but he has not seen much from the Brazilian since.

After some mixed performances by Mateo Musacchio, it might be a good time to test our new centre back as the Argentine has not impressed lately.

EMPOLI, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 27: Mateo Musacchio of AC Milan reacts during the serie A match between Empoli and AC Milan at Stadio Carlo Castellani on September 27, 2018 in Empoli, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

He shares a portion of the blame for both of Torino’s goals on Thursday, and Giampaolo should try to turn things around by giving Duarte a chance to prove himself – something which may in turn boost Musacchio’s levels.

3. Getting in the way of things

Giampaolo yet again put Suso in the starting eleven meaning that Leao drifted to the left wing with the Spaniard on the right in a 4-3-3.

Thus far, we have not seen anything impressive this season from the player who is considered the main creative force, but his average performance is not the only thing to worry about.

Milan’s new coach Giampaolo had some precise ideas when he was appointed in the summer and wanted to implement his favoured 4-3-1-2 formation with the transfer market being around that.

However, it seems that the Italian keeps changing thing around to keep Suso on the field and with the Spaniard falling behind the strikers, Milan’s formation has changed.

Given that Giampaolo did not work on the 4-3-3 over the summer, it seems he has let one player get in the way of his work.

It is time to drop Suso from the starting XI, as the Rossoneri have more than a capable squad to play without him and will have the advantage to play in their new coach’s formation.

4. Questioning Giampaolo’s decisions

With three defeats in his first five games Giampaolo has put some pressure on himself, but would it been different if his decision towards the starting eleven were different.

The Italian wanted his players to be fully up to speed with his ideas of football – which is understandable.

However, issues such as starting Suso every game now seem  even more baffling as it has forced him to compromise his own philosophy, the reason he was hired in the first place.

Marco Giampaolo

Players like Musacchio, Biglia, Calhanoglu, Piatek and even Samu Castillejo were preferred to the likes of Duarte, Bennacer, Paqueta, Leao and Rebic.

Moreover, if those decisions were based on a player’s form, we could have understood the logic behind that, but with the former players mentioned being the worst so far that argument cannot be used.

The former Sampdoria boss has to rethink the situation and start playing quality over players who supposedly know more about his tactics but fail to execute to them.

5. Making a good impression

Rafael Leao made his second start of the season and showed his pace and skills again, and he was the man that earned Milan’s penalty after showing good positioning in the penalty box.

The youngster almost scored his first goal as well, but his header was brilliantly denied by Salvatore Sirgu shorty after the spot kick.

He still seems a bit rusty at times, however fans must not forget that the Portuguese is only 20 years only. Now is his time to encourage him and allow him to flourish, not reign him back.

READ MORE: Player Ratings – Torino 2-1 Milan – Piatek awful, Donnarumma unfocused

Tags AC Milan Krzysztof Piatek Leo Duarte Marco Giampaolo Mateo Musacchio Rafael Leao Suso
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