AC Milan’s British defender Fikayo Tomori celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Italian Serie A football match between AC Milan and Juventus at the San Siro stadium in Milan on October 8, 2022. — AFP pic
MILAN, Oct 10 — Fikayo Tomori is hoping to put on a more convincing show against his former club Chelsea when AC Milan welcome the Blues to the San Siro on Tuesday.
Tomori was one of the stars of the show on Saturday as Milan swept aside Juventus, another in a long list of strong displays in which he also opened the scoring in a comfortable 2-0 win.
The England international had a torrid time in a 3-0 thumping at his old home Stamford Bridge last week, along with the rest of a Milan team troubled by injuries, but is in good spirits for the return game after a fine win at the weekend.
Milan and Chelsea trail Group E leaders Salzburg by a single point and both teams are still favourites to qualify for the knockout stages.
“We have another game against Chelsea coming up and we want to do more, not just in terms of our performance, but also how we go after them,” Tomori told DAZN on Saturday.
“We were a bit more determined today and we’re going for the win on Tuesday.”
Tomori helped Milan to the win on Saturday with just his second league goal for the club, the other one also coming against Juventus during his initial loan spell from Chelsea in the first half of 2021.
A snap shot from former Chelsea teammate Olivier Giroud following Theo Hernandez’s corner slapped onto Tomori’s chest and fell at his feet, allowing him to thrash in the opener on the stroke of half-time.
“We obviously worked on that in training!” joked Tomori.
“I was lucky, but I am happy with the goal, the clean sheet and the win.”
Chelsea will always be a special match for Tomori, who came through the Blues’ celebrated academy after moving to England from Canada while still a baby with his Nigerian parents.
Of the recent clutch of British players to arrive in Italy it is probably Tomori who has settled best, an undisputed starter for the seven-time European champions and a man who is obviously enjoying life in Milan.
Tomori had urged Giroud to come to Italy’s economic capital and “win the Scudetto”, and the former Blues pair fulfilled that ambition as key men in Stefano Pioli’s championship-winning team.
Since arriving from London Tomori has taken the mantle of injury-plagued Simon Kjaer as the leader of Milan’s backline, creating a reliable partnership with France’s Pierre Kalulu.
The 24-year-old has developed a strong command of Italian, happily conducting his post-Juve interview in the language of his adopted country after helping see off crisis-club Juve.
It could have been different, as his loan to Milan was completed just three days before the man who sidelined him — Frank Lampard — was sacked by Chelsea.
Tuchel changed the way the Blues played, re-energising players who had performed poorly under Lampard like Antonio Rudiger, who is now starting centre-back at European champions Real Madrid.
But Tomori has found a different path to success and will be pushing for Milan to reclaim a place among Europe’s best after conquering Italy. — AFP