Pierre Kalulu impressed while Ciprian Tatarusanu made a crucial save in the penalty shootout as AC Milan beat Torino to qualify for the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.
AC Milan had the best chance to open the scoring in the first half, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic lashed his effort over from a good position soon after they had a penalty shout turned down for a possible foul on Brahim Diaz. At the other end, Ciprian Tatarusanu made two good stops to deny Simone Zaza and Omer Gojak as the game remained goalless.
The Rossoneri turned up the heat in the second half, with Rafael Leao forcing a couple of saves from Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in the first six minutes. Both Diogo Dalot and Davide Calabria hit the post in quick succession as Stefano Pioli’s side pushed to break the deadlock.
Another potential penalty decision went against Milan when Milinkovic-Savic hauled down Leao in the box, much to the fury of the Milan bench, which resulted in Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was among the substitutes, being shown a red card.
The Torino goalkeeper continued to stand in the way of the hosts as Hakan Calhanoglu had a shot saved in regulation time while Theo Hernandez was denied early in extra-time. With the penalty shootout being enforced, both teams scored from their first four attempts before Tatarusanu denied Tomas Rincon, allowing Calhanoglu to net the winning penalty.
The Rossoneri will now face the winners of Inter Milan vs Fiorentina that takes place on Wednesday night. Here’s how we rated the performances of Pioli’s men on the night.
Ciprian Tatarusanu: 7.5/10
Starting ahead of Gianluigi Donnarumma, the 34-year-old was a reliable presence between the sticks for Milan on the night. Made a couple of good stops to keep Torino out in the first half before producing another fine save to deny Rincon from the spot in the shootout to put his team in the driving seat. Completed all of his 25 passes.
Pierre Kalulu: 7.5/10
Getting the nod at right-back, the youngster was one of the brightest players on the field on the night. Solid at the back, Kalulu won six of his nine aerial duels and three ground duels as well. Was an outlet going forward as well, creating one big chance which led to Dalot hitting the post. Moved to centre-back after the hour mark and continued his good work.
No smile. Just straight business for Kalulu. The future is bright 🤩 pic.twitter.com/upbATx6yik
— TheMilanGuys (@TheMilanGuys) January 12, 2021
Mateo Musacchio: 6.5/10
Making his first appearance of the season, the Argentine defender was fairly solid at the back, completing one tackle and three clearances while being highly accurate with his passes as well, misplacing two of his 44 attempts to find a teammate. Taken off in the second half to manage his game-time.
Alessio Romagnoli: 7/10
A steady presence at the back for AC Milan, the skipper held things together well, ensuring that Torino did not get much of a sniff at the goal on the night. Ended the game with one interception and two clearances while winning three of his four aerial duels. Scored from the spot in the shootout.
Diogo Dalot: 7/10
A constant outlet on the left flank before moving to the right after the hour mark, the on-loan Manchester United star got forward with purpose, although the end product was lacking at times, as he completed just two of his nine crosses. Still managed to make two key passes and came close to scoring, hitting the post from a great position. Solid defensively, making four tackles, one interception and two clearances.
Davide Calabria: 6.5/10
Handed a start in the middle of the park, the 24-year-old was solid if not spectacular. Kept things ticking along nicely and also contributed by creating a big chance while he, too, like Dalot, hit the woodwork in the second half. Made way for Theo Hernandez in the 63rd minute.
Sandro Tonali: 7/10
❄ There is ICE running through Tonali's veins.pic.twitter.com/4ktYLEXvCP
— SempreMilan (@SempreMilanCom) January 12, 2021
Getting a regular run in the side due to injuries, the youngster is finally starting to show his quality bit by bit. Helped out a great deal defensively, as he covered the most distance by any player on the night (15.8km), making three clearances and two interceptions while also blocking a shot. Showed his range of distribution to start attacks from midfield. Played one key pass and completed 91% of his passes, while dispatching his penalty coolly.
Samu Castillejo: 6/10
Worked hard on the right flank without really standing out a great deal. Played two accurate crosses and completed 16 of his 18 passes before being whisked off at half-time.
Brahim Diaz: 6.5/10
A lively presence in the final third, the Real Madrid loanee made a bright start and could have had a penalty in the first period. Created a chance for Leao early in the second half, but fired over from a decent position after being played in Calhanoglu. Completed three key passes and created one big chance before being taken off late in extra time.
Rafael Leao: 6.5/10
🤔 Penalty or not? pic.twitter.com/rDNaFe1mqG
— SempreMilan (@SempreMilanCom) January 12, 2021
Starting out wide, the Portuguese did not have much effect early in the proceedings. Got into the thick of things once he moved into a central role after the break. Should have converted at least one of the two chances he had early in the second period. Unlucky not have been awarded the penalty after being hauled down by the visitors’ goalkeeper.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 6/10
Making his first start since returning from injury, the Swedish talisman, in uncharacteristic fashion, missed a fine chance to put Milan in front in the first half. Dropped deep to try and get on the ball, which helped create a few promising openings, but nothing came of it. Subbed off at half-time with Pioli looking to manage his game-time.
Hakan Calhanoglu: 7/10
Replaced Zlatan at half-time and slotted in the hole, allowing Leao to move upfront. Made things happen in the final third as the Turkish international played six key passes and created one big chance while also having a shot saved. Scored the match-winning penalty in the shootout.
Calhanoglu's decisive penalty sends Milan to the Coppa Italia QF ✅ pic.twitter.com/E644x6rO0z
— 433 (@433) January 12, 2021
Jens Petter Hauge: 6/10
Came on for Castillejo at half-time, but the Norwegian could not make a big difference. Did play in a couple of key passes, but was generally found lacking when needed in the final third.
Franck Kessie: 6.5/10
On for Musacchio, the Ivorian slotted in the middle of the park and helped Milan assert control with his ball-winning abilities, winning four of his six duels while averaging a 93 percent pass success rate. Reliable from the penalty spot.
Theo Hernandez: 6.5/10
Replaced Calabria a little after the hour mark. Added more energy to the proceedings, created a few chances and also had a shot saved. Made no mistake from the spot in the shootout.
Giacomo Olzer: N/A
Extra-time substitute for Diaz.