Milan bounce again from Juventus defeat to reignite title cost
If Milan’s current defeat to Juventus got here within the greatest sport of the season thus far, then Saturday’s conflict in opposition to Torino was their second most essential contest of this marketing campaign.
I Rossoneri lastly succumbed to their first defeat of the 2020/21 season in opposition to the Previous Girl on Wednesday night, dropping 3-1 in a hard-fought encounter, albeit with a closely depleted squad.
That defeat left Inter solely a degree behind the leaders, and Juve’s deficit had diminished to seven factors, as a substitute of Milan rising it to a 13-point chasm with a win. A response was wanted from the league leaders to point out their mettle, having suffered such a painful setback in opposition to an inevitable and formidable foe like I Bianconeri.
What did we study from Saturday night time, then?
Nicely, Milan are on this title race for the lengthy haul.
In honesty, their spirited show in opposition to Juve taught us simply as a lot, going head-to-head with the champions, with out the vast majority of their key figures. And even with that first blot on the copybook, Stefano Pioli’s males remained on the Serie A summit.
However they obtained again on the horse regardless in opposition to Torino, taking the sport by the scruff of the neck and even in testing circumstances, loosening their grip.
Pioli opted to relaxation talisman Hakan Calhanoglu, whereas Davide Calabria was allowed to return to right-back, following his enforced cameo on the coronary heart of Milan’s midfield in opposition to Juve. That aid can be short-lived nonetheless, after Sandro Tonali was stretchered off, having taken a heavy whack to the again of his calf within the second half.
However previous to that downer got here an indication of all of I Rossoneri’s title-challenging credentials. The irrepressible Rafael Leao continued his lightning run of type, breaking the impasse on 25 minutes to spherical off a surprising and fluid transfer.
Rock and roll full-back Theo Hernandez charged vertically infield with the ball, beat a few gamers, after which poked a go into the trail of Brahim Diaz. The on-loan Actual Madrid wizard instinctively flicked the ball into area forward of him, and Leao charged into the penalty space, took a contact, and stroked residence the primary objective of the sport.
Lovely, scientific stuff.
The second got here quickly after, with Diaz on the coronary heart of the motion as soon as extra, profitable a penalty from a careless Andrea Belotti sort out. Franck Kessie hardly ever misses from the spot, and he did the enterprise for Pioli.
The second half noticed Il Toro start to goal their horns on the hosts, first having a penalty choice overturned (an incident which triggered Tonali to go away the sector on a stretcher), after which forcing Gianluigi Donnarumma and his defence into some drastic motion.
However having been pressured into undesirable substitutions, and having added one other identify or two to the damage listing, Milan nonetheless bounced again to say most factors, and put the stress again on their rivals Inter to play catch up on the high of the desk.
It wasn’t classic, it was gritty, but it surely was a efficiency of potential champions.
Oh yeah. And Zlatan Ibrahimovic is again.
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