AC Milan vs. Torino: Serie A Live Score, Analysis and Reaction
AC MILAN 1 - 0 TORINO
AC Milan: Abbiati, Mexes, Zapata, Abate, Muntari, Boateng, Flamini, Nocerino, Constant, Balotelli, El Shaarawy
Torino: Gilet, Masiello, Ogbonna, Rodriguez, Darmian, Di Cesare, Brighi, Vives, Cerci, Basha, Barreto
With only four games left of the 2012/13 season, both teams will hope to get something from this enthralling match-up. AC Milan have Champions League qualification aspirations whilst Torino will look to assuage any nerves that they are sliding towards the relegation zone
As a parting gift, be sure to check out Balotelli's winner for AC Milan. It won't be troubling any compilation DVDs of worldy goals, but it may have helped secure Champions League football for the Rossoneri next season.
Understandably, there's a lot of love for Balotelli on Twitter. Having signed in January, the precocious Italian international has scored nine goals in ten games.
It's congratulations to Juventus, meanwhile, who have retained the Serie A league title. An Arturo Vidal penalty was enough to beat Palermo 1-0, securing their 29th championship.
Elsewhere, it's commiserations for Pescara. They got tanked 4-1 by Genoa - a result which sums up their limp season - consigning back to Serie B.
PEEP-PEEP-PEEEPITY-PEEP! Somewhere in the nearby La Scala operatic theatre, a fat lady is singing: the referee brings the play to an end and AC Milan secure a vital, VITAL, three points. That should be enough to cement third place for them but there are still three games left.
Torino's players, meanwhile, look disconsolate: after giving it a good go, their concentration waned right at the end when it mattered most.
With three minutes added on in injury time, we've played two minutes when Milan have a freekick 25 yards from goal, dead centre. The goalscorer, Balotelli, steps up confidently but the ball goes over the wall without getting the desired dip.
Torino aren't out of this yet. Meggiorini romps forward and pings one goalwards from 25 yards. It's a decent hit but it just ekes wide of Abbiati's goal, who's happy to delay over taking the subsequent goal kick.
Oooosh, we almost had a second Milan goal! After waiting so long for one goal, Pazzini was a hair's length from converting a Nocerino lobbed pass.
Milan are happy to run down the clock. They're passing the ball effortlessly between themselves, from defence to midfield, as they seek to hold on to what would be a crucial three points.
Torino have just shy of three minutes to rescue something. Having held Milan off for so long, their players are evidently annoyed: their number 20 Vives is lucky to avoid a booking after a rash tackle on Niang.
GOAL! GOALGOALGOALGOAL! And it's that man Super Mario! "Pedestrian" is how I think one B/R hack had labelled him but he's proven me wrong. Those Torino substitutions were made whilst they were defending a corner: after subsequently being pinged in, Balotelli beats his marker to whomp the ball home from all of three yards. 1-0 to Milan, and the fans are vocal.
Torino FINALLY make a substitution. Having kept us waiting for one, they throw on two players: Meggiorini for Barreto and Capalo for Di Cesare.
We're into the last ten minutes and Milan have had their last roll of the substitution dice: in an attacking gesture, Matthieu Flamini has been withdrawn and Robinho has been thrown on.
The unpredictable Brazilian has been on the pitch less than 30 seconds before he manages to get a shot on target. Gilet gets down low to paw it out for a corner.
The Rossoneri have the ball on the edge of the Torino penalty area, but are met with a wall of white-shirted players. I can't remember the last time I heard Balotelli's name mentioned. He's been very pedestrian.
With his team on the edge of taking a huge point - who nobody would have backed them to - time-wasting has began amongst the Torino players: the 'keeper Gilet dilles and dallies before on the ball before aimlessly throwing it towards the opposite corner.
As a caveat to that though, AC Milan have scored 21 goals in the last 15 minutes of league games so far this season, which is more than any other team. Can they add to that today? If they do, they need to discover a spark of inspiration from somewhere.
M'baye Niang has just entered the fray in place of Boateng. Could he provide a catalyst?
Less than one minute later, and Kevin Prince Boateng is the third player to find himself on the receiving end of a yellow card. Frustrations start to show amongst the Milan players. Who can be surprised, they've been disappointing.
Why is Muntari still playing??????? #MilanTorino— Faton (@QunMula) May 5, 2013
To add to a frustrating afternoon for the former Portsmouth player, Sulley Muntari now finds himself in the referee's book for a late challenge on Basha. With Robinho and Niang on the bench, he surely won't have much more to contribute before he's hauled off.
Somebody score...? Anybody? Super Mario? Il Pazzo? Barreto?!
Surely can't be long before Torino make some much-needed substitutions. Their star man Alessio Cerci is looking shattered which is hardly surprising: he's covered every blade of grass on that wing at least 30 times.
Milan enjoying the lion's share of possession but simply cannot get the ball in a good enough position to threaten Jean Francois Gilet and the Torino goal. Just over 20 minutes remaining.
He's missed another gilt-edged chance! That man Barreto, yikes, hang in your head in shame. After Milan push up, there's some space for Cerci to exploit on the right wing. He dashes down and swings in a searching ball into that dreaded danger zone of the six yard box, Barreto's there...but he hits it straight at Abbiati. Great reactionary save, but anywhere else and it's in.
It SHOULD be 1-0 to Torino.
Juventus have scored against Palermo so, as it stands, Napoli's game against Inter later on will be rendered defunct as Juve are currently cantering towards their 29th league title.
They've played an hour in Milan, and it's still goalless. If they're not careful, Milan may miss out in Champions League football next season and Torino risk becoming embroiled in a relegation battle.
Speaking of Pazzini, did you know he was the first player to not only score in England's national stadium Wembley, but also the first player to score a hat-trick? This double feat was achieved in the same game, an Italy under-21 match against their English counterparts.
After two goals against Catania last weekend - which proved decisive in a 4-2 win - Stephen El Shaarawy won't get the chance to add to his season haul of 16 goals: he's being replaced by the evergreen Giampaolo Pazzini, with Milan number 11 hoping to add to his bounty of 15 goals so far.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?