Hakan Calhanoglu scored a double off the bench to take Milan from the brink of Coppa Italia elimination and into the semi-finals with a thrilling 4-2 victory after extra time against Torino.

Milan took the lead when Giacomo Bonaventura converted in the 12th minute, but a brace from defender Bremer looked set to be enough to send Torino into the semi-finals for the first time since 1993-94.

However, Calhanoglu replaced Rade Krunic in the 82nd minute and his stoppage-time strike from the edge of the box forced an additional half an hour.

A stunning drive from the same player just 29 seconds into the second half of extra time was followed two minutes later by Zlatan Ibrahimovic's second goal since returning to the club, sending the Rossoneri through to face Juventus in the last four.

Bonaventura turned Ante Rebic's cross home from six yards to put Milan ahead, but the Croatia international failed to convert a brilliant cross from Samu Castillejo in the 33rd minute to double the lead.

It proved costly 51 seconds later, with Bremer letting a delightful lofted pass from Simone Verdi bounce before guiding a clever finish underneath the onrushing Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Ibrahimovic replaced the disappointing Krzysztof Piatek in the 65th minute but Torino moved in front when Ola Aina's cross from the left was nodded in by Bremer.

Torino were unable to hang on until the final whistle, though, with Calhanoglu's stoppage-time effort from the edge of the box beating Salvatore Sirigu after deflecting off Bremer's replacement Koffi Djidji.

Ibrahimovic missed a glorious chance to wrap things up in normal time from six yards with the goal gaping, while Theo Hernandez failed to guide the ball beyond Sirigu, who also kept him out the follow up, in the 103rd minute.

The crucial fifth goal eventually arrived in the second half of extra time, with substitute Franck Kessie releasing Calhanoglu for a fierce effort that had too much power for Sirigu.

Ibrahimovic squeezed a pass from fellow sub Rafael Leao inside the near post to seal the deal in the 108th minute, ensuring there will be no Turin derby in the semi-finals.

Manchester United or Real Madrid?

Ajax star Donny van de Beek is a wanted man following his exploits for the Eredivisie champions.

But the LaLiga giants are reportedly poised to get their target at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – VAN DE BEEK SET FOR MADRID

Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek is on the verge of joining Real Madrid instead of Manchester United, claims The Mirror.

United have reportedly emerged as a suitor for Van de Beek in January due to injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

But a transfer to Madrid at the end of the season "is more than 80 per cent certain", according to the report.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Metro says Premier League champions Manchester City have joined the race to sign Aston Villa's Jack Grealish. Rivals United have been heavily linked to the midfielder.

Tottenham are nearing a deal to bring Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes to London on an 18-month loan contract, reports Sky Sports. West Ham have also been looking to sign the 21-year-old.

- United midfielder Nemanja Matic is in talks to swap Old Trafford for MLS outfit Chicago Fire, according to The Sun. Linked to Atletico Madrid, Inter and Milan, the Fire want to bring in the veteran as a replacement for Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Arsenal are considering a loan deal for Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, reports The Mirror.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter have reached an agreement with Christian Eriksen for a contract until 2024. Now, Inter must strike a deal with Tottenham for the soon-to-be free agent. Spurs reportedly want €20million (£17m) for the Dane.

- Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes has agreed personal terms with United for a contract until 2025 with yearly wages of €6m, according to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira.

Stefano Pioli's reign as AC Milan coach got off to an underwhelming start as Marco Calderoni's stunning late equaliser secured struggling Lecce a 2-2 draw in San Siro.

Krzysztof Piatek had seemingly secured former Inter boss Pioli – who replaced Marco Giampaolo during the international break – a debut win with his 81st-minute goal, but Calderoni struck in stoppage time to ensure Milan dropped points for the fifth time in eight games this season.

The impressive Hakan Calhanoglu powered Milan into the lead with a fine strike following Lucas Biglia's pass, but they struggled to maintain their lively start and faded towards half-time.

Khouma Babacar found the net from close range after Gianluigi Donnarumma saved his penalty in the second half, and then Piatek's strike was cancelled out by Calderoni's long-range drive to prevent Milan from moving back into the top half of the table.

Where will Fabian Ruiz be playing by the end of January?

Napoli will be hoping Fabian remains at Stadio San Paolo.

However, LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are determined to bring the former Real Betis midfielder back to Spain.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SURPASS BARCA IN BATTLE FOR FABIAN

Madrid have moved ahead of Barca in the race for Napoli star Fabian and want to sign the midfielder in January, according to Marca.

Fabian has attracted plenty of interest since swapping Betis for Serie A side Napoli, where the Spaniard has starred since his €30milion arrival in 2018.

Barca have been keeping tabs on the 23-year-old, but rivals Madrid have reportedly jumped to the front of the queue.

 

ROUND-UP

- While Fabian is of interest, Tuttosport says Barca are eyeing Inter star Lautaro Martinez, who has a €111m release clause.

- There is plenty happening at Camp Nou. Mundo Deportivo reports Barca are willing to let Ivan Rakitic and Carles Alena leave in January. Barca are also reportedly not interested in signing a new centre-back as they trust Jean-Clair Todibo or Ronald Araujo, with Marca saying right-back is an area they are looking to strengthen.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Fiorentina are targeting in-demand Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali. The 19-year-old has been linked to Juventus and Manchester United.

- AS claims Madrid are considering a move for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen in January, before his contract expires at the end of the season.

Hakan Calhanoglu's time at AC Milan could be coming to an end, with Calciomercato reporting the struggling Serie A side may sell the 25-year-old. Calhanoglu has struggled for consistency since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017.

Barca are lining up an approach for PSV sensation Donyell Malen, according to Sport. It comes as AS reports Ernesto Valverde's side are set to hand contract extensions to Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Nelson Semedo.

AC Milan coach Marco Giampaolo reflected on "issues" to deal with in his side after watching them beat Verona 1-0 in a game that left him determined to improve the Rossoneri attack.

A turbulent match was settled by Krzysztof Piatek's second-half penalty, which came after Verona had Mariusz Stepinski sent off and before Milan's Davide Calabria was given his marching orders, and Giampaolo acknowledged that the margin of victory was a narrow one.

He pointed to Verona's packed defence as a significant factor in his side's struggle for goals and also took a swipe at his predecessor, Gennaro Gattuso, by saying that his side had not yet learned to play as a collective.

"The team is working well, finding its balance and I know there are some strengths and weaknesses, but I work to improve the individuals and the team," Giampaolo told Sky Sport Italia.

"Everyone has strengths and weaknesses; there is no perfect side. I like the effort and passion we put into the game, but errors can happen.

"A team that defends with 10 men in their final third are difficult to break down. Verona played their honest defensive game and we were constantly pushing forward. We didn't do it perfectly and of course there is plenty to work on and improve, but the victory helps us to work.

"I won't just brush the dust under the carpet; I know full well we need to improve and there are issues we have to deal with."

The result left Milan with two wins and a defeat from their opening three games of the 2019-20 Serie A season and performances have been steadily improving.

After failing to register a shot on target in their 1-0 defeat to Udinese, Milan edged to a 1-0 victory over Brescia.

Against Verona, Milan had 17 shots on goal, with Suso, Hakan Calhanoglu and Franck Kessie picking their hosts apart with some intelligent approach play, but Giampaolo said his plans for the team have yet to be realised.

"I don't like to improvise," he said. "I want my team to have a structure to work on and some guarantees to build on. There are many talented individuals in the side and I still need to get them to fit within the context of the team unit.

"We must be honest. I don't hide. This team is trying and is accustomed to playing as individuals, whereas I must get them working in the service of the collective.

"We must learn to attack better, that is true."

Krzysztof Piatek scored his first Serie A goal of the season to help 10-man AC Milan secure back-to-back victories in a 1-0 win over Hellas Verona, who also had a man sent off in a tempestuous clash at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.

Rossoneri boss Marco Giampaolo restored Piatek to the starting line-up after dropping him from his previous teamsheet and he tucked away a second-half penalty to ensure the visitors claimed all three points from a bruising encounter.

Verona had Mariusz Stepinski sent off after 21 minutes for a dangerous challenge but the newly promoted side matched Milan for long periods and caused Giampaolo's defence plenty of problems.

Milan are improving as the season progresses and, after failing to register a shot on goal in their 1-0 defeat at Udinese on the opening day, they created ample opportunities to score here as Suso took up his role as creator in chief.

But the chance that mattered most was Piatek's spot-kick, and the 24-year-old, who scored nine league goals last season, opened his account for 2019-20 before Davide Calabria was dismissed in second-half stoppage-time.

Milan were on the back foot early on as Gianluigi Donnarumma made a double-save, parrying Marco Faraoni's cross away from goal before claiming Mattia Zaccagni's overhead kick in both hands.

Verona were on top when Stepinski caught Mateo Musacchio on the ear with a high challenge that earned him a straight red card following a VAR review.

But the 10 men continued to press and Valerio Verre fired over the crossbar in spectacular style when he controlled a long pass and volleyed with exceptional control.

Substitute Ante Rebic should have broken the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half but he mistimed his shot and Suso's weighted cross went to waste.

Davide Calabria thundered a volley onto the post from 30 yards as Milan heaped pressure on their hosts, who hit the post themselves through Verre before a handball in the box by Verona defender Koray Gunter presented Piatek with a chance from the penalty spot that he lashed into the bottom corner of the net.

Piatek had the ball in the net again when Marco Silvestri spilled Hakan Calhanoglu's shot and he slid in to poke it over the line, but after a VAR review the referee judged a foul had been committed.

There was more late drama as Calabria caught Matteo Pessina with his arm as the substitute headed towards the box. The Milan full-back was sent for an early shower but Verona's Miguel Veloso and Darko Lazovic missed chances to grab a late, late equaliser.

What does it mean? Giampaolo's men improving

Two wins from their first three outings of the season is a reasonable start for Milan, who are starting to gel in attack and are cutting out mistakes at the back.

Suso so important

Milan function best when Suso is on form and he was their attacking lynchpin here, dictating play and constantly probing at a resolute Verona defence.

Paqueta hooked after quiet half

Lucas Paqueta was ineffective in attack in the first half and Milan improved substantially after he was replaced by Rebic.

What's next?

The Milan derby is next up for Giampaolo's men as they aim to be the first side to take points from Inter this season, while Verona take on champions Juventus in Turin.

Krzysztof Piatek scored his first Serie A goal of the season to help 10-man AC Milan secure back-to-back victories in a 1-0 win over Hellas Verona, who also had a man sent off in a tempestuous clash at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.

Rossoneri boss Marco Giampaolo restored Piatek to the starting line-up after dropping him from his previous teamsheet and he tucked away a second-half penalty to ensure the visitors claimed all three points from a bruising encounter.

Verona had Mariusz Stepinski sent off after 21 minutes for a dangerous challenge but the newly promoted side matched Milan for long periods and caused Giampaolo's defence plenty of problems.

Milan are improving as the season progresses and, after failing to register a shot on goal in their 1-0 defeat at Udinese on the opening day, they created ample opportunities to score here as Suso took up his role as creator in chief.

But the chance that mattered most was Piatek's spot-kick, and the 24-year-old, who scored nine league goals last season, opened his account for 2019-20 before Davide Calabria was dismissed in second-half stoppage-time.

Hakan Calhanoglu's early header was enough for AC Milan as they held off Brescia 1-0 at San Siro to collect their first victory under head coach Marco Giampaolo.

After failing to register a shot on target in their 1-0 loss to Udinese on the opening weekend of the Serie A season, Giampaolo responded by leaving out prolific scorer Krzysztof Piatek and changing Milan's system.

The Rossoneri again struggled to get going in Saturday's clash, but Calhanoglu's 12th-minute goal got them off the mark under their new boss.

Brescia, without the suspended Mario Balotelli, were unable to respond as they were joined on three points by their opponents.

Looking to avoid back-to-back losses to begin a Serie A season for just the third time in their history, Milan were ahead early on.

An unmarked Calhanoglu sent a downward header into the bottom-left corner after being left unmarked on the edge of the six-yard, profiting from Suso's impressive play down the right.

A good chance went begging for Dimitri Bisoli to equalise eight minutes later, prodding over from close range, and Gianluigi Donnarumma produced a good save to keep out Stefano Sabelli's deflected strike.

Milan struggled to build on their early goal, with Samu Castillejo wayward from a rare attempt early in the second half.

But the hosts rallied late on and should have added to their tally, substitute Piatek twice being denied by Jesse Joronen in the final 10 minutes, either side of firing against the post


What does it mean? Still work to be done for Giampaolo

Giampaolo accepted he needed to make changes following the loss in Udine and leaving out Piatek for the first hour, the Poland striker having hit 22 league goals last term, was a brave decision - especially considering Andre Silva has been heavily tipped to leave.

Milan may have earned the win but they looked disjointed at times and it appears further tweaks will be needed before the new head coach stumbles upon the right system.


Suso shines after last week's shocker

Calhanoglu scored through Milan's first on target attempt of the new season and it came as a result of Suso's work.

Spanish winger Suso had a poor game at Udinese last week but he responded well and played more key passes than anyone else on the pitch, including making the decisive assist.


Castillejo struggles to get involved

Castillejo should have profited from the tweak in system but he had fewer touches than any Milan player to complete the game and squandered a promising opportunity early in the second half. He did win his fair share of aerial duels, though he was replaced late on after seemingly sustaining an injury.


What's next?

Milan travel to Verona in their first match back after the international break, while Brescia have a home meeting with Bologna.

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