Pulisic stars as AC Milan lay down a marker with demolition of helpless Torino

It was a dominant first home game of the season for AC Milan as they beat a turgid looking Torino side, with goals from Pulisic, Giroud and Hernandez.

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STADIO SAN SIRO (Milan): It was a brilliant mixture of the old and the new that earned AC Milan an emphatic 4-1 victory over Torino with more than 70,000 fans enjoying displays from mainstays Theo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud, as well as newcomers Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Perr Schuur‘s equaliser, which came minutes after Pulisic’s opener, proved nothing more than a flash in the pan for a Granata side who were left helpless as the Rossoneri scored two more times before the breakthrough Giroud‘s penalty and ‘Hernandez‘s strike, before the French striker found another goal from the spot after the break.

AC Milan too much to handle for Torino

Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao jump in celebration for AC Milan. [acmilan.com]

With Rafael Leao and Tijjani Reijnders looking particularly inspired, Milan‘s pressure came mostly from the left flank, but Torino’s defence somehow were able to hold firm until the hosts’ momentum looked to fade around the 20th minute.

On their end, a Granata side bereft of offensive solutions were getting no joy going forward, with the injury of their striker Antonio Sanabria, replaced by Pietro Pellegri, making the situation even worse.

While Pulisic didn’t seem particularly involved in the game until that moment, after last week’s brilliant debut, he showed how devastating the Rossoneri can be when given open spaces to attack. The American picked up the ball in midfield and broke Torino’s lines before laying it off for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who broke into Granata’s box from the right and smartly assisted Pulisic’s easy tap-in.

San Siro’s roar for the opener was followed by shock as Ivan Juric‘s men found an unhoped-for equaliser in the space of three minutes when Samuele Ricci‘s scrappy attempt from outside the box was turned home by Schuurs to bring things level.

AC Milan’s Olivier Giroud celebrates. [@acmilan]

Milan didn’t need to wait long to restore their lead though, as a VAR check persuaded referee Maurizio Mariani to punish Alessandro Buongiorno‘s handball with a penalty that Giroud converted by sending Vanja Milinkovic-Savic the wrong way.

As the excitement mounted in the stands, the hosts’ third goal looked inevitable and came through another classy move seconds before the break, as Hernandez completed a one-two with Leao and broke into the box from the left, finely chipping the ball over Milinkovic-Savic from a tight angle to make it 3-1.

Giroud’s brace and Pioli’s changes

AC Milan players celebrate. [@acmilan]

The second-half didn’t provide much hope for Torino‘s comeback, as the visitors looked well aware of the gap in both quality and pace that separated the two sides.

An electricity outage had some of the floodlights going out at San Siro, but the VAR was fully working a few minutes later when another review from Mariani led to the second penalty of the night, allowing Giroud to complete his brace from the spot.

The Frenchman’s third Serie A goal in two games was the prelude to a series of changes that saw Stefano Pioli bring on new signings Yunus Musah, Samuel Chukwueze and Noah Okafor – although they all looked lively, none of them were able to put their name on the scoresheet.

The Rossoneri now have six points from their first two games, whilst Torino are left with just a single point.

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