Milan climbed to eighth place in Serie A after a narrow win at home to Torino thanks to Ante Rebic’s fifth league goal of the season.
Ante Rebic scored his sixth goal of 2020 as Milan maintained a first win in four in all contests and climbed to eighth position in Serie A with a 1-0 victory over Torino on Monday.
In-form Rebic found his chances limited earlier in the season but has scored in three consecutive matches after strikes against Inter and, at the Coppa Italia, Juventus.
Unlike in those games, Milan this time held onto their lead to secure a victory that fosters their hopes of a Europa League place.
Torino, who seldom threatened at San Siro, possess a five-point cushion into the relegation places but have suffered four consecutive defeats.
Milan put the visitors under pressure from the off, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was key to much of the approach play, holding up the ball to fashion an opportunity for Lucas Paqueta to observe a low shot saved brilliantly by Salvatore Sirigu.
The hosts led after 25 minutes through Rebic, who got in front of his marker to meet Samu Castillejo’s low cross and clipped an end to the bottom-left corner of the internet.
Ibrahimovic and Castillejo each fired wide from the side of the box soon after the break, with the latter especially wasteful, as Milan pressed for a second.
Torino started to show increased ambition as the second half wore on but struggled to find a way past a disciplined and organized Milan defence.
Alex Berenguer’s free-kick was punched clear by Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Cristian Ansaldi could just slice the rebound wide.
Milan threatened on the counter-attack as Torino pressed yet Castillejo and Ibrahimovic were guilty of wayward finishing, with Stefano Pioli’s men forced to settle for a one-goal win.
Having spent a lot of the first half of this season on the bench, the Croatian worldwide is becoming integral since the beginning of 2020. Ibrahimovic definitely brings the stardust into Milan’s attack but Rebic is more than playing his role.
Berenguer functioned Donnarumma in the second half, but a mistake from the winger before the break resulted in the only aim of the game. Rather than clear the ball in a defensive position, he tried to dribble his way out of trouble and wasted possession, allowing Castillejo to cross.
Milan have an away trip to Fiorentina in Serie A on Saturday, while Torino host Parma the next day.