AC Milan maintain winning start to Serie A season with victory against Torino

By Sports Desk August 26, 2023

AC Milan’s attacking prowess was on show as they eased to a 4-1 victory over Torino to maintain their perfect start to the Serie A season.

Olivier Giroud and new signing Christian Pulisic were both on target in the opening win over Bologna and claimed three of the four goals again here.

USA international Pulisic grabbed the first in the 33rd minute from a pass by former Chelsea team-mate Ruben Loftus-Cheek to kick off what was a hectic end to the first half.

 

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Perr Schuurs levelled three minutes later from Torino’s first opportunity but Giroud converted his first penalty in the 43rd minute after a lengthy VAR check for handball.

And there was still time for Theo Hernandez to make it three before the break, while another VAR review resulted in Milan’s second penalty in the 65th minute, which was again converted by Giroud.

Hellas Verona joined Milan on six points with a 2-1 victory over Roma. They were two up at the break through Ondrej Duda and Cyril Ngonge and held on despite Houssem Aouar pulling one back shortly after half-time and Isak Hien’s red card.

Newly-promoted Frosinone claimed their first victory, defeating Atalanta 2-1, while a double from Andrea Colpani secured a 2-0 win for Monza against Empoli.

In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund needed a Donyell Malen equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw with Bochum, who had taken an early lead through Kevin Stoger.

It has been a less than convincing start to the season for Dortmund after the disappointment of their title near-miss last term.

There are no such concerns for Union Berlin, who sit top of the table after a 4-1 victory over Darmstadt despite playing with 10 men for more than an hour following Brenden Aaronson’s dismissal.

Berlin were 1-0 up at the time through Robin Gosens and quickly conceded an equaliser but shrugged off the setback, with Gosens scoring again before goals from Kevin Behrens and Danilho Doekhi.

Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Freiburg also maintained their 100 per cent starts to the campaign.

Victor Boniface scored twice in Leverkusen’s convincing 3-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach while there was also a double from Jonas Wind as Wolfsburg came from behind to beat Koln 2-1.

Freiburg looked set to be held by Werder Bremen only for Maximilian Philipp to pop up in the sixth minute of stoppage time and earn a 1-0 win.

Newly-promoted Heidenheim were two goals up on Hoffenheim heading towards the final 10 minutes and seemed on course for a first win only for the visitors to score three times and clinch a 3-2 victory, with Andrej Kramaric grabbing the winner from the penalty spot.

LaLiga teams used Saturday’s matches to show their support for Jenni Hermoso and the Women’s World Cup winners in their dispute with the federation.

Captain Olga Carmona was in the stands at Sevilla, whose players wore T-shirts bearing the words “Se Acabo”, which translates as “It’s Over”, while Cadiz’s players carried a banner supporting Hermoso.

On the pitch, Sevilla remain without a point after a 2-1 defeat by Girona, who have started well, while Granada defeated Mallorca 3-2 and Kaiky Fernandes netted a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw between Cadiz and Almeria in a match that saw both teams finish with 10 men.

Paris St Germain claimed a belated first Ligue 1 victory of the season, defeating Lens 3-1. Kylian Mbappe began to put the summer’s bad blood behind him with two goals after Marco Asensio had opened the scoring.

Chancel Mbemba Mangulu and Ismaila Sarr were on target as Marseille made it seven points from their first three games with a 2-0 victory over Brest.

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    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Turkiye - Hakan Calhanoglu

    While the praise for Turkiye's young stars was warranted, it overshadowed the impressive display of Calhanoglu at the heart of their midfield against Georgia.

    The Inter man completed 88 passes against Georgia last time out, the most by a Türkiye player in a European Championship game, with a passing accuracy of 92.6 per cent. 

    Portugal – Vitinha

    Another midfield maestro had yet another impressive display in their Group F opener, with Vitinha completing more passes under high-intensity pressure (59) than any other player in the opening round of games at Euro 2024.

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    MATCH PREDICTION – PORTUGAL WIN

    While Selecao were not at their dazzling best in their Group F opener, they ultimately found a way to win, and that is what title-winning teams always manage to do. 

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    But Turkiye proved in their opener against Georgia they are not here just to take part, and will be looking to win their first two games at a major tournament for the first time in their history. 

    Montella will be keen to continue his 50th birthday celebrations when he returns to Dortmund on Saturday, with the possibility of equalling their most victories in a single edition of the European Championship (two in 2008). They have only managed more at a major tournament in the 2002 World Cup (four).

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Turkiye - 17.8%

    Draw - 20.3%

    Portugal - 62%

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