Torino vs. AC Milan: Post-Match Review
The 2-2 scoreline at the end of Torino vs. Milan was hardly the talking point, as a lackluster Rossoneri side lucked their way to a precious point when the referee awarded a penalty to Andrea Poli, which Mario Balotelli coolly took from the spot in the 96th minute.
The real drama at the end of the match didn't come because of a scandalous refereeing decision on the actual foul, but because Torino was desperately trying to stop play and make a substitution in the dying seconds.
On a side note, Mario Balotelli is now 26/26 lifetime on penalties, as this comedic website will breakdown further for you.
Torino was a better side throughout the match as coach Giampiero Ventura went with the speedy attacking duo of Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile.
Predictably, the pace gave Milan's defense some problems as the duo of Philippe Mexes and Christian Zapata were caught out of position and saved by Nigel De Jong's defensive tracking on several occasions.
While it has become all too common to blame Milan's woes on their polarizing coach Massimiliano Allegri, it's time for the management to receive their fair share of criticism.
No one quite knows what President Silvio Berlusconi and director Adriano Galliani want from their coach, as they've kept him on board when many fans felt that he'd get sacked on several occasions.
The trust they've shown in Allegri is perhaps superficial, as one must wonder how many more pitiful performances they'll put up with. Not only that, but there have been several occasions where Berlusconi has lashed out at Allegri as reported by Football Italia, specifically when Stephan El Shaarawy was kept out of an important Serie A match.
This time, El Shaarawy was relegated to the bench because of injury rather than a technical decision. In his place came Robinho, who was invisible, uninspiring and unable to give Milan any sort of lift whatsoever.
Mario Balotelli was also anonymous in stretches, and he can be blamed for wasting a golden opportunity when he found himself alone in front of Torino keeper Daniele Padelli. That mistake becomes even more glaring when you look at the final scoreline.
However, the main topic is the return of the Rossoneri golden boy Ricardo Kaka, who made his deja vu debut for the club.
I told my readers not to have high expectations for Kaka against Torino in my last column, and for a large part of the match, he was out of sync with teammates and drifted across the pitch, unable to assert himself in any position he chose to temporarily take up.
How Would You Grade Kaka's Debut?
Even though Kaka was listed as a "trequartista," he was found on the wing and at times in front of the defense. It's unknown whether or not this was a specific tactical instruction from Allegri or if Kaka was given a free role in his debut.
What's clear is that it'll take some time for the former Ballon d'Or winner to get back into peak match rhythm. You could play devil's advocate and say that these problems are due to chemistry, which takes time to build when you consider the only two teammates who he played with that are still on the roster are Christian Abbiati and Daniele Bonera.
Hopefully the rust has begin to come off for Kaka and he'll give Milan fans glimpses of the reason why he became their hero in the first place.
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