Milan 1, Torino 0: Defending the Fortress

With the win tonight, Milan have an astounding nine wins, one draw, and zero losses in our first ten matches of the season. This is only the second time the club has managed to do this, and the last time was in the 1954-55 season, according to OptaPaolo. While this may have not been our best performance ever, we faced a tough Torino side, whose performance Jurić said was their best of the season. With eight players out yet again and tired legs from playing midweek last week, Milan did enough to take all three points at home, something we had struggled with the past year. It seems that now Milan are making a habit of not only winning, but also defending the fortress.

Taking the San Siro back 3 points at a time

The match started off with plenty of fight, as in a card for each side in the first ten minutes, and Giroud and Belotti both taking big knocks during that time as well. Pioli had been saying that neither Ibrahimović nor Giroud were 100% yet, so having given Giroud the start, he apparently decided to prove the boss wrong. In the 14th minute, Tonali sent in a corner kick that Krunić sent forward, and Giroud managed to tap it past Vanja Milinković-Savić. 1-0 Milan. Yes, that is Lazio midfielder Sergej's "little" brother, standing at 2.03 meters (6 foot 8 inches) tall in Torino's net.

That would be the only goal, and one of only two Milan shots on target, with Torino matching them on that count. The rest of the match was a constant battle, with Singo proving too much for Kalulu and others at times. He would earn a yellow for fouling Leao, but Kalulu earned a yellow for a tactical foul in the 34th when he thought he'd lost him (although Tonali was arriving just in time.) Milan never backed down, though, even when the going got tough and fatigue set in.

Making it look easy

Given the difficulties Singo was giving Kalulu, as well as the fact that both he and Romagnoli were on yellows, I'm sure, they were replaced at the half with Theo Hernández and Kjaer. Theo Hernández still struggled to keep the Torino winger in check, but his quality soon won that battle. We had missed both he and Kessié so much on the weekend, both were such a relief to have for this one. Speaking of Kessié, our on-loan Pobega left his only real mark on the match on the Ivorian's foot, for which he was rewarded a yellow in the 57th.

The Serbian keeper not taking any more from Giroud this time

Torino pressed harder as the game went on, with Milan being forced to defend more. When Sanabria came on for Belotti, his fresh legs became more problematic, including when he forced Tatarusanu into an important save in the 76th minute. Our goalkeeper and Viking defender were screaming at each other shortly thereafter, not the first time this season, either. Losing Maignan has been hard on all of us, but our defense has struggled at times to adjust to a very different style of keeper. Hopefully they can get in sync, because we have three tough fixtures coming up, and we need everyone on the same page.

Still not particularly convincing, but getting more solid with every match

Praet offered Torino's closest miss in the 85th, when his shot just grazed the top of the crossbar. Ibrahimović came on for the last few minutes and made his presence known, but Giroud really impressed for his 87 minutes with a dynamic and complete performance in addition to the goal. Vanja Milinković-Savić also made his presence known, as he probably came closest to scoring in stoppage time, having come all the way up for a couple of set pieces. But at the final whistle, it was still 1-0 Milan.

When you're crushing it

This match was much improved from the past few matches, even if Milan showed signs of weariness from playing midweek last week as well. The injuries are certainly impacting performances both with quality at times and also by not allowing for as much rotation, but they battled for 90 minutes in this one. The best part about it is that they are quickly making the San Siro our own again. Whereas last year, they dominated on the road and slipped up a lot at home, this year, they are defending the fortress.

This post inspired by the music of Alice Merton's "Vertigo"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 11
Roma vs. Milan
Sunday, October 31 • 20:45 CET (3:45pm EDT)*
*note the difference in time due to European Daylight Savings Time ending
Milan 1, Torino 0: Defending the Fortress Milan 1, Torino 0: Defending the Fortress Reviewed by Elaine on 11:59 PM Rating: 5
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