Samp not at the races; early Bonaventura goal gives Milan victory

An off-colour Sampdoria were deservedly beaten 1-0 by AC Milan at the San Siro this evening.

Marco Giampaolo’s players looked strangely listless and were unable to mount a serious threat on Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal until injury time at the end of the game.

The Doria boss kept virtually the same starting line-up that won against Hellas Verona last weekend, Gaston Ramirez the only change after the Uruguayan had finished his one-match ban.

It looked like Samp had got off to the worst possible start when Nicola Murru involuntarily handled a cross from Davide Calabria in the area in the sixth minute, leaving the referee Daniele Doveri no choice but to point to the spot. Ricardo Rogriguez took on the responsibility of taking the penalty, but Emiliano Viviano read it perfectly and saved low to his left.

The reprieve proved to be short-lived, as merely eight minutes later Milan had taken the lead. Calabria from the right wing provided the cross again and Riccardo Montolivo’s timing was faultless as he half-volleyed into the net.

Samp’s response to going down was slow in coming and the players were struggling to find any kind of rhythm in the game

VAR was called into question in the 37th minute when Calabria clearly handled the ball in the area ahead of Duvan Zapata. For reasons known only to the officials, no penalty decision was forthcoming, although the video officials did make the right call a minute before half-time when Leonardo Bonucci’s headed goal was chalked off for offside.

The Blucerchiati came out for the second half looking more confident in their ability but still couldn’t conjure up any clear-cut opportunities.

Aside from a rocket from Hakan Calhanoglu that hammered off the bar, there was little in the way of chances by either side, as Milan were content to sit back and contain Sampdoria.

Our best chance of the match came in the 90th minute when Fabio Quagliarella whipped in a cross for Gianluca Caprari at the far post. Unfortunately, the young Italian botched his lines and shot wide, failing to pull off what would admittedly have been a smash-and-grab job.

The race for sixth spot and European qualification is still very much alive and it’s up to us to put in a better performance next time out against Udinese.

AC Milan 1-0 Sampdoria (HT: 1-0)

Scorer: Bonaventura 14.

Milan (4-3-3): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Bonucci, Romagnoli, G. Rodríguez; Montolivo (Locatelli, 85), Biglia, Bonaventura; Suso, Cutrone (A. Silva, 73), Calhanoglu.
Subs not used: Guarnone, A. Donnarumma, Mauri, Borini, G. Gómez, C. Zapata, Abate, Musacchio, Antonelli, Tsadjout.
Coach: Gattuso.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Viviano; Bereszynski, Silvestre, Ferrari, Murru; Barreto (Verre, 55), Torreira, Linetty; Ramirez (Kownacki, 72); Zapata (Caprari, 54), Quagliarella.
Subs not used: Krapikas, Tozzo, Andersen, Alvarez, Strinic, Regini, Capezzi, Tessiore, Ercolano.
Coach: Giampaolo.

Referee: Daniele Doveri.
Assistants: Alessandro Lo Cicero, Mauro Vivenzi.
Fourth official: Federico La Penna.
VAR: Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni, Giacomo Paganessi.

Yellow cards: Linetty 40, Ferrari 54, Bonaventura 71, Verre 79.

Additional time: 1+3 minutes.