Pulisic on target as Milan beat Torino, Roma crash at Verona
August 27, 2023 10:17 AM
Cristian Pulisic continued his bright start at Serie A leaders AC Milan with another goal in Saturday's 4-1 win over Torino, while Roma slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Verona.
A second strike in as many games by Pulisic since signing from Chelsea in the 33rd minute got Milan on their way to their second straight win, this time in front of a packed San Siro watching a new-look team for the first time this season.
Olivier Giroud was also on target with a penalty in each half while Theo Hernandez struck with a brilliant finish as Milan put on an entertaining display.
"You can see on the pitch how much we have fun," said Giroud to DAZN.
"We can compete in both competitions, in Serie A and the Champions League. We have a lot of quality, we have a lot of weapons and attacking solutions."
USA forward Pulisic rolled in the opener after a brilliant exchange of passes with fellow former Chelsea star Ruben Loftus-Cheek, before Peer Schuurs stunned the home supporters by diverting Samuele Ricci's wayward shot past Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan.
However Giroud then put Milan back in the lead from the penalty spot after Alessandro Buongiorno was penalised for handball -- while pushing the France striker in the back -- following a VAR check.
Theo Hernandez then extended Milan's lead in first half stoppage-time by dinking over Vanja Milinkovic-Savic from a tight angle following brilliant combination play with Rafael Leao.
Torino already had little chance of victory by that point and coach Ivan Juric shook his head on the touchline when another VAR check ended with another debateable spot-kick for Milan for a foul on Leao.
Giroud stroked in his third goal in Milan's opening two matches to put the hosts three ahead midway through the second half and put to bed a largely one-sided contest.
- Verona sink Roma -
Ondrej Duda and Cyril Ngonge struck in the first half to keep Verona level on a perfect six points with Milan with a surprise win over Roma, who are waiting to see if Romelu Lukaku will sign on loan from Chelsea.
Lukaku's potential arrival has Roma fans excited but their team looked in need of more than just a goalscorer after conceding two sloppy strikes to lose at the Stadio Bentegodi.
Jose Mourinho's side have collected one point from their first two games in the absence of their suspended coach and have only won one of their last 10 Serie A matches.
Injury-prone talisman Paulo Dybala was forced to leave the field with a thigh problem in the second half, more bad news for a team which seems to make every match a hard slog.
Rui Patricio gifted Verona the lead when he patted out Filippo Terracciano's stinging shot straight into Duda's path in the fourth minute, and Ngonge skipped past Chris Smalling too easily before doubling the hosts' lead on the stroke of half-time.
Houssem Aouar nodded Roma back into the game 11 minutes after the break but the away side couldn't find the breakthrough even after Isak Hien was sent off with six minutes remaining for flattening Andrea Belotti while the Italy forward rushed towards goal.
Roma hit the woodwork twice, through Bryan Cristante in the first half and a powerful Lorenzo Pellegrini free-kick right after Hien's red card but struggled to marry their dominance with clear goalscoring chances and fell to a bad defeat.
Earlier promoted Frosinone got their first win of the new campaign, 2-1 over Atalanta, while a fine Andrea Colpani brace gave Monza a 2-0 success over bottom side Empoli.