SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 16 - 9 Dec 2012 (14.00 UK)
Torino 2 - 4 Milan
Santana 28 (T), Robinho 40 (M), Nocerino 53 (M), Pazzini 61 (M), El Shaarawy 76 (M), Bianchi 80 (T)
Stadio Olimpico

Milan gifted Torino the opener, but fought back in an exciting 4-2 victory at the Olimpico and lost Nigel De Jong to injury.

The Rossoneri were finding their feet again with two consecutive Serie A victories and were through to the Champions League knockouts, but Max Allegri had a bit of an injury crisis to deal with. Kevin-Prince Boateng was suspended with Riccardo Montolivo, Alexandre Pato, Kevin Constant, Daniele Bonera and Francesco Acerbi unavailable, so he broke out the 4-3-3 system. Toro were smarting from their 3-0 Turin Derby hammering, though affected by Kamil Glik’s early red card. He was naturally suspended for this game.

Milan hadn’t visited the Granata in Serie A since a 2-2 draw in November 2008, while they were unbeaten here since a 1-0 loss in November 2001.

Mario Alberto Santana flashed a snapshot wide in the opening 70 seconds and Angelo Ogbonna risked an own goal on Ignazio Abate’s cross.

Pazzini nodded Mattia De Sciglio’s cross over and on the counter Amelia had to rush off his line to smother at the feet of Riccardo Meggiorini following a Mario Yepes error. Pazzini sprung the offside trap and pulled back from the by-line for El Shaarawy to fire over, though replays show the flag should’ve been raised.

Milan’s injury crisis deteriorated, as Nigel De Jong limped off after just 22 minutes, making way for Massimo Ambrosini. Initial reports were very bad, suggesting damage to the Achilles tendon.

Torino took the lead thanks to an absolute howler from Antonio Nocerino. His dreadful backpass from the centre-circle was straight at Santana, who dribbled all the way into the box and round Amelia to slip into an empty net.

Milan managed to equalise with a fine goal from Robinho, who ran down the left side of the box, but back past Valerio Di Cesare and smashed across Jean-Francois Gillet with his left toe from a very tight angle.

The Rossoneri completed their comeback after the break, as El Shaarawy ran away from defenders and his cross was only palmed away by Gillet into the path of Nocerino. The midfielder was ready to nod in, making up for his first half howler.

Ignazio Abate was booked for taking down Rolando Bianchi on the counter-attack, but the Torino striker had wanted a straight red.

Pazzini further extended the advantage to 3-1 when clattering into Salvatore Masiello from behind to win back possession in the box and place an angled drive across Gillet, but Toro were furious at the foul.

A Valter Birsa long-range strike was deflected just past the post, while Urby Emanuelson went even closer with a swerving effort from the edge of the box that landed on the crossbar.

Moments later Milan rattled the woodwork again, as Pazzini nodded a De Sciglio cross on to the upright.

El Shaarawy consolidated his Capocannoniere status, though it was a gift as Gillet fumbled an easy low cross and the Little Pharaoh only had to tap in from six yards.

Toro did get one back with Rolando Bianchi’s looping header on a Birsa cross from the right. The Granata kept pushing for pride and Amelia cleared a Birsa header off the line.


Torino: Gillet; Darmian, Di Cesare, Ogbonna, Masiello; Gazzi, Basha; Cerci (Birsa 46), Meggiorini (Sansone 65), Bianchi, Santana (Verdi 74)
Milan: Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Yepes, De Sciglio; Nocerino, De Jong (Ambrosini 22), Emanuelson; Robinho, Pazzini (Bojan 81), El Shaarawy (Flamini 74)
Ref: Romeo