NEWS
Tuesday January 28 2020
Coppa: Milan tame Torino in extra time

It was a dramatic Coppa Italia quarter-final with twists and turns throughout 120 minutes, as Milan eventually beat Torino 4-2 in extra time with Hakan Calhanoglu and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The winners will go on to face Juventus in the two-legged semi-final.

Toro were desperate for a result after their humiliating 7-0 home defeat to Atalanta, but the hosts were on a run of four consecutive victories in all competition since switching to the 4-4-2 formation and made several changes to the XI.

The game was preceded by a video in honour of Kobe Bryant, as the basketball legend was a passionate Milan supporter who kept their scarf and shirt in his locker. The Rossoneri were allowed to wear black armbands, but not have a minute’s silence before kick-off.

Ante Rebic earned his place in the starting XI thanks to three goals in two Serie A games and almost scored after five minutes, turning well to burst into the box before a crucial Nicolas Nkoulou defensive block.

Rebic provided the assist for the opener, bursting down the left and flashing a ball across the six-yard box that went past Krzysztof Piatek, but Jack Bonaventura tapped in at the far post.

Samu Castillejo’s snapshot was well saved by Salvatore Sirigu one-handed, while Rebic’s header was straight at the goalkeeper.

Torino scored with their first genuine opportunity on 34 minutes, as centre-back Bremer made a surprising run from midfield, completing a give and go with Simone Verdi to spring the offside trap and beat Gigio Donnarumma from a tight angle.

Rebic saw another attempt deflected wide and bundled in on the rebound from the resulting corner, but it struck Piatek on the arm, so was disallowed.

Rade Krunic couldn’t keep his header down from close range on Theo Hernandez’s cross. Torino threatened to go in front after the restart, just unable to finish off a mad scramble in the six-yard box, while Alessio Romagnoli’s header was over from a corner and Alex Berenguer tested Donnarumma on the counter.

Piatek was jeered off the field yet again in perhaps his last Milan appearance, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was brought on to break the deadlock.

Instead, Torino turned it around with a totally unexpected brace from centre-back Bremer, this time his glancing header on Ola Aina’s cross from the left after a short free kick.

Milan failed to make much impact on the Granata defence in the remaining 20 minutes, other than Ibrahimovic’s scuffed finish wide.

However, at the 91st minute, substitute Hakan Calhanoglu saw his scorcher from the edge of the box take a crucial deflection off Koffi Djidji to take it beyond Sirigu.

Ibrahimovic could’ve made it 3-2 and prevented extra time moments later when Rafael Leao pulled back from the by-line, but incredibly ballooned over from point-blank range. The veteran had another chance on target, but Sirigu beat away the ferocious angled drive.

Calhanoglu almost put the Rossoneri in front in extra time after a wonderful Leao counter-attack and ball across, only to be denied by Sirigu.

The tempo in extra time became frantic, as Torino countered to force a Donnarumma save from Ola Aina, but Theo Hernandez sprung the offside trap and somehow was denied twice by Sirigu one-on-one.

The Granata goalkeeper was finally beaten when Calhanoglu ran on to a pass from substitute Franck Kessie and hit a strike with such power that it bent back Sirigu’s glove to fly into the far top corner.

Moments later, Milan added a fourth with a well-worked move. Samu Castillejo’s low cross was laid off by Leao for Ibrahimovic to prod home from 10 yards. It was Ibra’s first goal at San Siro since his return to Milan.

Ibrahimovic tried with a free kick from 30 metres out, tipped over the bar.

Milan 4-2 Torino (aet)

Bonaventura 12 (M), Bremer 34, 71 (T), Calhanoglu 91, 106 (M), Ibrahimovic 108 (M)

Milan: G Donnarumma; Conti, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Theo; Castillejo, Krunic (Calhanoglu 82), Bennacer, Bonaventura (Leao 76); Rebic (Kessie 106), Piatek (Ibrahimovic 65)

Torino: Sirigu; Izzo, Nkoulou, Bremer (Djidji 83); De Silvestri (Lyanco 112), Lukic, Rincon (Laxalt 112), Aina; Berenguer (Millico 90), Verdi; Belotti

Ref: Pasqua

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/