Torino 2, Milan 1: Horror Show in Turin

Milan, or the ghosts of a Milan team we knew, went to Turin on Sunday night, only to find themselves in the middle of a horror show. Torino hacked their way through 95 minutes, Abisso was somewhat abysmal with the whistle, and the team's mentality never arrived in Turin. Perhaps it was an identity crisis, as Torino's home kit required Milan to wear half of their away kit and half of their home kit. At least that would be one explanation for what we saw. But the end result was a 2-1 loss to the number 10 team, dropping three points, and an overall horror show in Turin.

A nightmare of a game that Milan never woke up from

Let me start by pointing out that just because it is the club's policy to not make excuses for injuries, it does not mean they do not exist. Fans and the media forget how many long, major injuries Milan have had this season. For example, Ibrahimović has not even set foot on the pitch for us once yet this season. Allegri has a lot of injuries at Juventus, that has always been his thing, but he also always reminds everyone about it, so people take it into account when criticizing the team. His team are also in seventh place, whereas Pioli's side have been in the top two to four teams for nearly three years straight. One poor game is forgivable.

Someone dressed up as Leão, suffocated by Torino players

The horror began with Leão missing two really important chances in the first six minutes. Vlasić also took down Kalulu twice in the first 16 minutes, amongst many, many, many other very hard fouls, and yet was never carded for a single one. Torino's gameplan was to play like bulls in a china closet, and Milan were the china. Hopefully, none of our players were injured, because we cannot afford to have any more of them broken.

Abisso finally started handing out cards to get control of the game in the 24th minute, with Kalulu tragically getting carded for a foul on Vlasić in the 34th. That would have pushed me over the edge. Maybe that threw him off, because just a minute later, Djidji headed the ball past Tatarusanu from a free kick to open up the scoring. 1-0 Torino. 

Theo Hernandez had his hands full again with Singo

To add insult to conceding, Miranchuk scored just two minutes later on a play they copied from Milan's playbook, using Vanja Milinković-Savić's long goal kick to send it forward, when players cannot be offside, and Pellegri sent it in for Miranchuk, who headed it home. 2-0 Torino.

Some of the rough play not called by Abisso did go Milan's way, like when Gabbia's high boot caught Pellegri's face. We already saw this year a ref that actually sent Leão off for a move like that, but Gabbia was gratefully not carded. Perhaps it was because ironically, Abisso was in the VAR booth for that match when Leão was sent off, and the AIA did talk to their refs about it.

Milan's youth players and past and present Torino players all colliding

Pioli read the game, saw what needed to happen, and made some important substitutions at the half to try to change it. Only the team had conceded two goals in short order, and confidence had dropped. Still, bringing on Rebić, De Ketelaere, and Dest for Leão, Brahim Díaz, and Kalulu respectively injected some life back into this Milan side, and they were almost recognizable again. Almost. 

Pioli had made some grave miscalculations in his starting lineups. Brahim Díaz has been playing well, but he is no match for teams like Torino that are so physical and mark so tight. Origi has quality, but we needed Giroud's size and specific movements in the box and on defense to create enough chances. A starting lineup without Bennacer right now is a recipe for disaster. No one could predict how poor Leão's finishing would be, but Pioli worked the whole game to get the team on the pitch that should have perhaps started.

Dest had a positive impact when first coming on

Dest had a great chance from distance, but it went just over. He had been injured this week, but came on with plenty of energy. He and Theo Hernández shoving Torino players to ground was at least entertaining, and they were not carded, either. But the big controversy was yet to come.

In the 67th, Messias was running down the flank and Milinković-Savić came way off his line. Buongiorno went to ground after some minimal contact with Messias, and it looked like it could have been a foul before the Brazilian took advantage of the situation and sent the ball into the back of the net. 2-1 Torino. The play was VAR reviewed and the goal stood, but depending on the angle, it looks 100% like a foul or it looks like it definitely was not a foul and Buongiorno tried to save face by flopping. 

Messias and the 6'8" (2m) tall Vanja Milinković-Savić watch the ball hit the back of the net for Milan

Jurić was shown a replay of it on the sidelines, and lost his mind, insisting it was a goal. He earned a yellow for that. In the ensuing VAR review time, Bennacer was subbed on for Tonali. Then Jurić was screaming obscenities at Abisso and the fourth official that you could hear on the broadcast, so Abisso showed him a red card and sent him off. Jurić admitted afterward that seeing the play from different angles, it may not have been a foul after all. It also wasn't the first time he lost his mind or was sent off.

Pobega, who had spent last year on loan at Torino, finally got a yellow card for a foul on... you guessed it, Vlasić. That's right, both of our yellow cards were for fouls on a player who was lucky to have not been sent off after 20 minutes. Giroud replaces Messias in the 78th, but it was too late in the game for him to make enough impact. Bennacer attempted one of his screamers from distance, but it went over. The much maligned De Ketelaere had a great sliding tackle in the 82nd to win the ball back.

A small consolation on a horrific night

The ugly game got even more tense as the clock ticked down. Fans and even the players were waiting for a reaction and miracle like the one vs. Empoli in stoppage time, but it never came. Even when Abisso finally awarded a handball against Lukić in the 89th, Milan were unable to take advantage of it when Rebić's ensuing free kick was deflected by the wall.

Torino literally outmuscled Milan and played so defensively, but were able to take advantage of a couple of key defensive errors from Milan. They were also more clinical with their opportunities, as Torino had seven shots, but four were on target, compared to Milan's 12 shots, only one of which was on target. 

Pioli knows what went wrong, now he just needs to turn more water into wine, still with less water

Torino fans had to have some joy after being outscored 13-0 in the league by Milan over the past three years. Also, perhaps some vindication for the 7-0 trouncing Milan gave them just over a year ago. But it was a sad ending to Milan's 17 game unbeaten away streak, the longest streak in any of Europe's top five leagues until tonight. It was not a beautiful game at all, especially for Milan fans. It was a horror show in Turin.

Happy Halloween!

Spoiler Alert: Don't wait up for The Great Pumpkin. Milan fans have already been disappointed enough this Halloween.

This match inspired by the music of Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi Is Dead"

Our next match is 
Champions League Group Stage
AC Milan vs. FC Salzburg
Wednesday, November 2 • 21:00 CET (4pm EDT)*
Central European Summer Time ended Sunday, so there is an alternate time difference

Torino 2, Milan 1: Horror Show in Turin Torino 2, Milan 1: Horror Show in Turin Reviewed by Elaine on 11:59 PM Rating: 5
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