Sunday, December 9, 2012

Torino 2, Milan 4: The Torino Double

First we pulled off the win with a little help from Rizzoli when Juventus came to town. And this afternoon, we went to Torino and slayed the Bulls to make it a Torino Double. Two big wins in two weeks, I have to say it feels pretty good. And has anyone noticed how much better Allegri’s lineups have been once Berlusconi started telling him who and where to lineup? Huh. Well, I guess that’s why it’s a team. And this team made me proud today.

Nocerino's mistake inspired a goalfest
We started off a little sluggish. Shots were taken at each end, and then it was mostly a possession battle for the first half hour. We seemed to be missing our linking up in the midfield, as often happens in our 4-3-3. Then a horrible sight in the 20th as De Jong jumped up and came down very awkwardly on his ankle. He asked to be subbed immediately, and it seems he tore his achilles tendon, so is out for the season. Ouch. Good thing Muntari and Strasser are coming back.

The worst kind of news

Ambrosini came on for the injured De Jong in the 21st, the only time Allegri subs early. It seemed really evenly matched until the 29th, when Nocerino for some bizarre reason passed the ball back to no one. Well, that’s not entirely true. Santana was there and immediately dribbled it back and scored, Amelia was all on his own. 1-0 Torino. Nocerino’s facepalm pass made me really mad, but it actually was a catalyst to wake the team up and get going. Well that and when Darmian took down El Shaarawy near the corner in the 32nd and earned himself a yellow card in the 32nd.

But seriously, being down a goal fired everyone up, and in the 40th minute, a miracle happened. Robinho scored a goal. In the run of play. From a beautiful cross in from De Sciglio.  Tied at 1. And that was how they went  into the locker rooms at the half.

Robinho: 2 goals, both against Torino sides.

The Stadio Olimpico Torino was jumping after the half. The Milan fans were even louder and Milan was a lot more focused. In the 53rd, in an act of redemption, Nocerino scored his first goal of the season after a fast break by El Shaarawy. 2-1 Milan. Cue the Nocerino song from the Curva. Abate played a lot more defensively in his first game back from injury, and even earned himself a yellow in the 55th. In the 58th, Yepes, who was captain today, took a little knock mixing it up with Bianchi in the box. But the Granata man was not going to score on our big Colombian. He was beast.

Milan were not satisfied with such a narrow margin, though. And so in the 61st, Pazzini also grabbed a goal, assisted by Robinho. 3-1 Milan. There was controversy as a Torino player went down as Pazzini made his run in the box. But the ref allowed the play to continue. Gazzi was very vocal about not liking this call, and earned a yellow on the play. Masiello earned a yellow just 2 minutes later, too.


Milan kept attacking, though. Urby had a beautiful curling shot in  rom distance in the 70th, and Gillet made a great save to stop it, or it would have gone in. He was very solid today. In the 73rd, Pazzini had a great header on another De Siglio cross, but it hit the post. In the 76th, Gillet bobbled a shot, but El Shaarawy followed through, and dribbled the ball around him and poked it into an empty net. 4-1 Milan.

De Sciglio is beast on the right and beast on the left. Ambidextrous.

In the 79th, il Faraone was subbed off for Flamini, I’m assuming to give the young striker a bit of rest before Thursday’s Coppa match. That turned out to be a bit of bad luck, though, as one minute later Bianchi, who had been fierce this match, finally got a goal. 4-2 Milan. Pazzini was subbed off just after that for Bojan. Amelia made a big save in the 83rd from a dangerous Sansone shot. In the 86th, both Urby and Di Cesare were handed yellow cards. And just like that, the game was over.

The guys give thanks to the 12th man

Doing the Torino double should do wonders for the team’s mentality. After a very flat and disappointing final group match in the Champions League on Tuesday, this goalfest has to feel really good. The team played well. Not to their potential, but playing matador is never easy, and temperatures were pretty low, too. We had 15 shots, 5 on goal, 4 of which were converted, so that’s much better than usual. Now if we can take our away form and bring it back to the San Siro, we will be doing quite well for ourselves. As those bulls lick their wounds and try to stay up in Serie A this season, our brave young men travel back home knowing they conquered a Torino team. Twice.

This post inspired by delicious Pandoro early on a Sunday morning

Our next match is
Coppa Italia
Milan vs. Reggina
Thursday, December 13 • 21:00 CET (3:00pm EST)