AC Milan bounced back from their first defeat of the season as goals by Rafael Leao and Franck Kessie helped them cruise to a 2-0 victory over Torino on Saturday night.
The Rossoneri saw their undefeated start to the campaign ended by Juventus midweek, but they didn’t have quite as many problems with the other team from Turin as Stefano Pioli’s side extended their lead atop the standings to four points ahead of Inter’s match with Roma on Sunday.
It was a rather simple day at the office for Milan as Rafael Leao opened the scoring by slotting home in the first half before Franck Kessie doubled the advantage from the penalty spot – Milan’s 11th penalty of the season.
Torino offered little in terms of a response, as their best chance came from a Ricardo Rodriguez free kick that came back off the crossbar as they slumped to their ninth defeat of the campaign.
The early stages of the match saw Samu Castillejo almost force Salvatore Sirigu into a massive mistake, but the chance eventually came to nothing. Armando Izzo denied Jens Petter Hauge from tapping home a Davide Calabria pass as the Rossoneri maintained their hold on the match.
Milan’s pressure paid off in the 25th minute as Theo Hernandez surged forward and laid the ball off for Brahim Diaz. The Spaniard sent Rafael Leao in on goal, and he made no mistake in firing past an on-rushing Sirigu.
Diaz went down under pressure from Andrea Belotti in the penalty area 10 minutes later, with the referee opting for a penalty after using VAR. Kessie calmly stepped up to double Milan’s advantage.
Ricardo Rodriguez almost got revenge on his former side as his free kick looked destined for the back of the net however it came thumping off the crossbar, while Kessie forced Sirigu into a close range save to close out the half.
Torino thought they were handed a chance to cut the lead when they were awarded a penalty for a Sandro Tonali foul on Simone Verdi. However Maresca consulted with VAR and went back on the decision, though the collision forced Tonali off on a stretcher.
Wilfried Singo burst away from Kessie and sent a pull-back in that was put out for a corner as Torino pushed forward in an attempt to reopen the match, however Milan looked in control of the contest.
The final stages of the match saw little action, though there was time for Gianluigi Donnarumma to change direction mid-air and deny a deflected Jacopo Segre strike while Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his return from injury.