Kevin Pogorzelski Date: 12th May 2021 at 10:46pm
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After their memorable win over Juventus at the weekend, AC strengthened their grip on a Champions League qualification place by thrashing Torino 7-0 at the Grande Torino in on Wednesday night.

In the 150th meeting between the two sides, Ante Rebic hit a hat-trick, scored twice and Franck Kessie and Brahim Diaz also netted, as the Rossoneri recorded their first win against the Granata in Turin since December 2012 in style.

The Milanese giants have now won 15 times away from this term, equalling the single-season record set by crosstown rivals Inter during the 2006/07 campaign, and are yet to visit Atalanta.

Unlike the Rossoneri’s previous visit to Turin on Sunday night, there were few nervous moments, as the Granata somewhat helped their cause ahead of kick-off with six changes to the starting lineup – including talismanic captain Andrea Belotti.

However, with relegation rivals Spezia and Benevento to come, coach Davide Nicola clearly had one eye on fixtures that could have a bigger impact on their future.

With comfortably controlling possession, Hernandez took aim from the edge of the box on 19 minutes and arrowed a left-footed strike into the opposite top corner, past a helpless Salvatore Sirigu.

Four minutes later, a foolish lunge on Samu Castillejo by Torino defender Lyanco inside the box allowed Kessie to convert the penalty with relative ease and extend their lead.

Davide Calabria nearly added to the Granata’s woes, but was just offside as he slipped the ball past Sirigu on 36 minutes, before the hosts could have reduced the deficit after a rare Rossoneri mistake.

Hakan Calhanoglu passed straight to Simone Zaza inside the penalty box, but, despite a near-perfect assist for Bremer, his teammate shot straight at goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Within minutes of the restart, though, the Rossoneri were out of sight, as Kessie stepped forward to win possession, drove into the Torino box and rolled the ball across for Diaz to sweep the ball into the net.

Hernandez then made it 4-0 when he burst forward to receive a perfectly weighted pass from Rebic and beat Sirigu with a sublime chip that just brushed the underside of the crossbar on its way in.

Despite the Croatian’s efforts to supply the ammunition for his teammates, the striker appeared destined to miss out on the goalscoring, until a nine-minute collapse saw him net a hat-trick.

On 68 minutes, Rebic thrashed the ball home from close range and soon after was rolling the ball into an empty net, as the hosts began allowing players to breeze past them at their leisure, and eventually prodded a third in with his knee.

Like Atalanta, who also won on Wednesday by beating Benevento 2-0, now just need three more points to guarantee themselves a place in next season’s Champions League thanks to their head-to-head advantage over Juventus.