Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Atalanta 2-1 Torino

Torino's slim hopes of Europa League qualification ended on Sunday afternoon following a 2-1 defeat to Atalanta.

Following a number of injuries and suspensions, Walter Mazzarri was forced into a number of changes, with Kevin Bonifazi starting at right back, Afriyie Acquah in midfield, and Simone Edera up front.

The home side dominated the first half, and Toro were grateful for Salvatore Sirigu who made two good saves to deny Musa Barrow.

Atalanta took the lead eight minutes into the second half as Barrow turned provider for Remo Freuler to head home. Toro were level three minutes later as Simone Edera's excellent pass found Adem Ljajic who finished well past Etrit Berisha.

However, with twenty five minutes remaining, Atalanta regained the lead as Timothy Castagne crossed for Robin Gosens to score from close range.

Toro were unable to find an equaliser and are now seven points away from the final Europa League position and can start to look towards next season.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Atalanta v Torino Preview

Torino travel to Bergamo on Sunday afternoon knowing that they must return with three points to have any chance of qualifying for Europe.

This task is made harder by a number of suspensions and injuries, as Lorenzo De Silvestri, Antonio Barreca, Daniele Baselli, Joel Obi and Iago Falque are all unavailable. This means that Walter Mazzarri has had to included Primavera players Alessandro Fiordaliso, Ndari Adopo, Ben Lhassine Kone and Karlo Butic for the trip to Atalanta.

Atalanta currently occupy 7th place which should almost certainly be enough for Europa League qualification, and Toro could close the gap to just two points should they emerge victorious.

Prediction
Atalanta 2-1 Torino

Torino 1-1 AC Milan

Torino fought back to earn a well deserved point against AC Milan on Wednesday night, but arguably should have won the game.

Walter Mazzarri stuck with the same team who drew with Chievo in the previous match, as Adem Ljajic, an injury doubt, was declared fit.

Toro made a lively start and were awarded a penalty inside two minutes, as Franck Kessie was penalised for tripping Cristian Ansaldi in the area. Captain Andrea Belotti stepped up to take the penalty, but saw his effort crash off the bar. That was the third penalty that Torino have missed against AC Milan in their last four matches, with Belotti also missing at the San Siro last season.

Torino were made to pay for that miss, as just moments later, Giacomo Bonaventura opened the scoring with a sublime half volley from distance. Toro's best chance at an equaliser in the first half was when Iago Falque blazed over the bar when trying to divert Cristian Ansaldi's wayward effort.

With twenty minutes remaining, Toro did get the equaliser that their play deserved as Lorenzo De Silvestri headed home an Adem Ljajic corner. The Serbian was almost the match-winner in the dying moments, as despite slipping before striking the ball, Ljajic poked a shot towards goal that forced an outstanding save from Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Lorenzo De Silvestri's night ended on a sour note as he was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for fouling Ricardo Rodriguez. AC Milan then almost won it in the dying seconds, as former Toro man Ignazio Abate's long range shot clipped off the post, but that would have been harsh on the Granata and the game ended level.

Forza Toro

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Torino v AC Milan Preview

Torino will look to keep their slim Europa League hopes alive when they face AC Milan at the Stadio Grande Torino on Wednesday evening.

M'Baye Niang has returned to the Granata squad and could face his former team, whilst Kevin Bonifazi, Antonio Barreca and Joel Obi could come into the team that started the draw against Chievo.

AC Milan look rejuvenated under the management of Rino Gattuso, however they have not won in four Serie A games, drawing the last three.

Prediction
Torino 1-1 AC Milan

Chievo 0-0 Torino

Torino were unable to win a fourth consecutive match on Saturday evening as they were held to a 0-0 draw with Chievo on Saturday afternoon.

Walter Mazzarri made just one change, as Tomas Rincon returned from suspension and came straight back into the starting eleven at the expense of Joel Obi.

Nicolas Burdisso almost had an embarrassing moment, just days after his 37th birthday, as his back header almost looped over Salvatore Sirigu, but the former PSG goalkeeper was able to prevent an own goal.

At the other end, Cristian Ansaldi bamboozled the home defence and was unlucky to see his left footed shot rebound off the post. Andrea Belotti also had a great chance for the Granata, but the Toro captain dragged his shot wide of the target.

In the second half, Mattia Bani headed over the bar from a set piece as Chievo started to threaten the Toro goal. Fabrizio Cacciatore also managed to somehow blaze over the bar after Salvatore Sirigu failed to claim a cross.

In the dying minutes, Mattia Bani received a straight red card for a late challenge on substitute Kevin Bonifazi. However, Toro could not make the numerical advantage count and were forced to settle for a point.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Chievo v Torino Preview

Torino travel to Verona in search of a romantic story of their own, as they look for a fourth consecutive victory to stay in race for Europa League qualification.

Tomas Rincon has returned from suspension, although Adem Ljajic is a doubt and could miss out through injury.

Opponents Chievo are in a relegation battle this campaign and are only two points above the bottom three. However, they have won two of their last three home matches, including a surprise win over Sampdoria so will be tough opposition.

Prediction
Chievo 1-2 Torino

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Torino 1-0 Inter

Torino won a third consecutive game for the first time this season as they beat Inter 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.

As expected, Nicolas N'Koulou returned to the starting eleven whilst Joel Obi replaced the suspended Tomas Rincon.

Inter thought they had taken the lead in the early moments, but Salvatore Sirigu made a sensational save to tip Mauro Icardi's volley over the bar.

The away side were enjoying the majority of possession, and Croatian winger Ivan Perisic also came close, but his header hit the bar.

Ten minutes before half time, Toro took the lead against the run of play, as Perisic inadvertently played the ball into the path of Lorenzo De Silvestri who crossed for Adem Ljajic to score.

In the second half, it was Samir Handanovic's turn to make a miraculous save as he denied Lorenzo De Silvestri's acrobatic effort.

Adem Ljajic also had an opportunity to double Toro's lead, and perhaps should have crossed for Andrea Belotti who was better placed.

Nicolas N'Koulou enhanced his reputation by making an excellent goal line clearance to deny Miranda's header, whilst Rafinha saw his volley rebound off the post.

Torino held on for a hard fought victory to keep their slim chances of Europa League qualification alive for another week at least.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Torino v Inter Preview

Torino face Inter on Sunday afternoon looking to achieve a third successive victory to keep their slight Europa League hopes on track. 

Toro will be without the suspended Tomas Rincon so Afriyie Acquah should deputise whilst Nicolas N'Koulou could replace Kevin Bonifazi in the back three.

Inter are unbeaten in their last five and are hoping for a positive result to ensure qualification for next season's Champions League. 

Prediction
Torino 1-1 Inter


Friday, 6 April 2018

Torino 4-1 Crotone

Torino won successive games for only the second time this season following a convincing 4-1 victory over Crotone.

Kevin Bonifazi made his first start of the season, whilst Adem Ljajic made his first start under Walter Mazzarri's management.

Toro took the lead after only sixteen minutes when captain Andrea Belotti found the net from a corner, despite Alex Cordaz saving his initial effort.

The Granata doubled their lead four minutes later as Iago Falque finished well from just outside the area.

Torino added a third goal ten minutes before half time, as Adem Ljajic's excellent free kick was diverted goal wards by Andrea Belotti.

Crotone should have had a goal back before half time, but Simy's close range header hit the bar.

With twenty minutes remaining, Andrea Belotti completed his hat trick following a cool finish after an assist by Iago Falque.

Toro were denied consecutive 4-0 victories in the dying seconds, as Nicolas Burdisso's missed interception allowed Davide Faraoni to score.

Forza Toro

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Torino v Crotone Preview

Torino will face Crotone on Wednesday evening looking for back to back victories for only the second time this season.

Toro's inconsistent campaign is highlighted by the fact the Granata have not won consecutive Serie A games since September, and that was only thanks to Iago Falque's injury time winner at Benevento.

Despite losing four of their last five matches, Toro could move to within five points of the final Europa League spot with a victory. Nicolas N'Koulou has recovered from the injury that forced him off at half time against Cagliari, whilst Adem Ljajic is in line to make his first start under Walter Mazzarri.

Like Toro, Crotone have lost four of their last five, although that win was an impressive 4-1 victory against Sampdoria who currently occupy the final European place.

Prediction
Torino 2-0 Crotone

Cagliari 0-4 Torino

Torino ended a run of four successive defeats with a surprise 4-0 victory over Cagliari on Saturday afternoon.

The Granata lined up in a 3-5-2 formation for the first time this season , with Iago Falque supporting Andrea Belotti in attack.

Toro had the first chance of the match, but Daniele Baselli somehow missed the target from close range after good work from Tomas Rincon.

At the other end, Alessandro Deiola should have given the home side the lead but he blazed over the bar from close range. Former Juventus man Simone Padoin should have done better when through on goal, but he was denied by Salvatore Sirigu.

The turning point arrived ten minutes after half time as Adem Ljajic replaced Afriyie Acquah and Toro switched to a more adventurous 3-4-1-2 formation. The impact was almost immediate as Andrea Belotti inadvertently set up Iago Falque to score, after the Toro captain's own shot hit the post and then ricocheted off him and into the path of Falque.

That bit of luck is what Toro had been missing in recent weeks, and Ljajic soon added a second with a smart finish.

Cristian Ansaldi added a third as the Argentine scored his first Toro goal from just inside the area, whilst Andrea Belotti set up substitute Joel Obi to score a VAR assisted fourth goal in the dying moments.

Forza Toro