Sunday, 15 September 2013

Torino 2-2 AC Milan

Torino were seconds away from securing their first Serie A victory over Milan in over a decade but conceded a controversial last minute equaliser from the penalty spot.

As expected, Alessio Cerci returned to the starting eleven whilst Cesare Bovo replaced the injured Guillermo Rodriguez in defence. For AC Milan, Kaka started to behind a front two of Mario Balotelli and Robinho in his first appearance in Italian football for four years.

The Granata made the brighter start, with Giuseppe Vives and Alessio Cerci both going close from long range. Cristian Zapata went closest for Milan just before the break, but his header from a free kick went narrowly wide.

Two minutes after half time, the home side took a deserved lead when Cerci's pass found D'Ambrosio and the wing back cut inside on his favoured right foot to fire a shot past Christian Abbiati. And with twenty minutes remaining, an exquisite through ball from Ciro Immobile found the outstanding Cerci and the Italy international kept calm to double Torino's lead.

And when Daniele Padelli miraculously denied Mario Balotelli from close range, it looked as though Toro were on course for a memorable victory. But with three minutes remaining, Milan got a goal back in bizarre circumstances as Padelli's punch fell to Sulley Muntari and the Ghanaian's scuffed shot found the bottom corner. However, Toro felt that this goal should have been disallowed due to Balotelli being offside in the build up, despite not obviously interfering with play.

Then in injury time, substitute Giovanni Pasquale fouled Andrea Poli in the penalty area to give Milan the chance to rescue a point - and Mario Balotelli continued his excellent record from the spot to deny Toro a famous victory. However, Torino also had complaints regarding the equaliser as in the build up to the penalty incident, they were not allowed to substitute the injured Marcelo Larrondo despite the ball going out of play.

This will feel like a defeat for Torino, but it is important to remember how well they played for 88 minutes, and the fact that it took two controversial decisions to deny them a famous victory. The performance of Alessio Cerci was an obvious high point, but once again the midfield trio of Giuseppe Vives, Matteo Brighi and Omar El Kaddouri also impressed.

Forza Toro

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