Milan 0, Torino 1: Gored Again

Milan had no choice in this match but to take the bull by the horns, but instead were gored by Il Toro once again. Not only were we knocked out of the Coppa Italia in the Round of 16 by a team who had also beaten us in Serie A, but they did it on ten men. And cost us an extra 30 minutes of exhaustion, too. Pretty much the worst case scenario. So while my red and black blood bleeds out, I will write as much as I can manage about how Milan were gored again.

Bleeding out

Milan took 34 shots, with eight on target, while Torino only had to take 11 shots, with only three on target. In 120 minutes of play. Torino also played 50 of those minutes on only ten men, as well. Sure, Milan were up against the 6'8" (2.02m) giant goalkeeper Vanja Milinković-Savić, who obviously made eight saves (after Ochoa made nine against us last Wednesday, but at least we still won that one.) You should have seen the other 26 shots, though. Most of them are in orbit.

An early shot of Maldini's disappointed and incredulous face, then panning to Ibrahimović and seeing him also aghast told you everything you needed to know about how this match would play out. Due to the historically remarkable and incredibly painful nature of this match, I will be utilizing some of the tweets I sent during the actual trauma, both for perspective and to save having to come up with new words. Or you can watch the extended highlights if you are a masochist. Just before kickoff, I tweeted:

Tatarusanu made three saves

Tatarusanu made the first save in the 12th minute, a great save on Lukić, who was somehow allowed an excellent chance on goal. I wrote about how much we miss Maignan after the Roma match as well. Shortly thereafter, Djidji picked up a yellow card for fouling Dest.

In the 26th, De Ketelaere's header actually hit the post, which unfortunately was the closest that Milan came to scoring on the night. He also had another shot just before the half that was saved by the giant Serbian goalkeeper. 

De Ketelaere hit the post, the closest Milan came to scoring

There were shots saved from Pobega and Tonali, and De Ketelaere was chasing the ball down and even kind of taken down by Milinković-Savić. But there was very little to keep fans interested in an increasingly tense match.

Nothing got past the giant Serbian keeper

Pioli brought on Leão and Messias in the 67th for Saelemaekers and Brahim Díaz, starting to change the formation. Messias had a shot right away that was wide, but then Torino started taking chances. Then in the 69th, Milan were thrown what should have been a lifeline when Djidji was shown only the second card of the match to this point, but both of them for him, so he was sent off after fouling the slippery Messias. Torino were on ten men. How did we not take advantage of this?

Vranckx was taken down in the box, but VAR reviewed it and apparently did not see enough to even send Rapuano to the monitor to look at it. No matter, Milan should not be relying on referees to win their matches for them. Giroud and Theo Hernández replaced Pobega and Gabbia in the 77th to complete the change to our standard formation. 

Messias tried to make an impact coming back from injury

Bennacer came on for Vranckx in the 83rd. But all of the efforts from Theo, Leão, Messias, Tonali, De Ketelaere, and even Giroud could not get past Milinković-Savić. Even when he was carded in the 92nd for timewasting, the goalkeeper was unflappable.

First half of Added Extra Time (AET) was even more tense, with players from both sides either wildly off target or forcing Milinković-Savić into action. In the 104th minute, the keeper singlehandedly shut down multiple attempts from Giroud to get it past him. He was like Torino's own wall, and Milan were like children jumping to no avail. Remember, Torino were on ten men, and had been since the 69th minute.

The man had eight saves

Things were getting sloppy in the second half of AET. De Ketelaere conceded a dangerous free kick just outside of the box, but Torino was unable to capitalize on it. Linetty saw yellow for a foul on Dest, who was then subbed off for Calabria. The two subs that Jurić made in AET, Adopo and Bayeye, then linked up to score in the 114th. 1-0 Torino.

Desperation ensued on Milan's part. They peppered the Torino goal, but Milinković-Savić and the Torino defense only had to withstand six minutes plus stoppage time after finally breaking the deadlock. And they did.

The team did not play up to par, but Pioli's decisions should be looked at as well

Ahead of the match, Maldini indicated that Milan's transfer window was likely closed after signing Vásquez, a keeper for the future more than the here and now. After a miserly January mercato last year despite which we miraculously still won the Scudetto, that was something no one wanted to hear. Lightning does not strike twice. The summer transfer window was impacted by the ridiculous delay of Maldini and Massara's contracts as well as the sale of the club. We knew this would be a difficult transfer window because players needed to leave, but that does not change the feeling that the squad needs an infusion, especially with so many injuries once again.

Current mood.

This result was salt in the wound of that news. Not that I care about being out of the Coppa Italia. It is by far the best competition to bow out of, given the absurd schedule and the ridiculous double-leg final. But the mental blow to the team and fans that is losing to ten-man Torino after giving up two needless points on Sunday is immeasurable. Or losing to tenth place Torino twice in two different competitions. I am emotionally bleeding out right now, it literally feels like my heart has been gored again.

This post inspired by the music of The Cure's "Seventeen Seconds"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 18
Lecce vs. Milan
Saturday, January 14, 2023 • 18:00 CET (9am EST)

Milan 0, Torino 1: Gored Again Milan 0, Torino 1: Gored Again Reviewed by Elaine on 11:30 PM Rating: 5
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