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Samp edged out in five-goal thriller at San Siro


Samp edged out in five-goal thriller at San Siro

Once the dust settles on a topsy-turvy contest in Milan on Sunday night, Marco Giampaolo will be able to take some positives. However, having come from behind to take first-half lead, there will be a tinge of disappointment not to have left San Siro without at least a point.

The home side took the lead on 17 minutes. Suso found some space on the right-hand side to cut in onto his left foot, before curling a cross to the back post, where Patrick Cutrone was on hand to head into the net from just inside the six-yard box.

However the Blucerchiati did not find themselves trailing for long. Former Milan player Riccardo Saponara, who made his first start in nearly two months, collected a cross-field ball on the corner of the box. Faced with Davide Calabria, the Samp man beat his marker before firing a low and accurate shot into the corner.

The goal-scorer then turned provider just after the half-hour mark, playing a delightful lofted pass into the path of Fabio Quagliarella. The Samp striker made the finish look easy, side-footing past a stationary Gigi Donnarumma.

The pace did not let up in what was a frenzied first period and Milan hauled themselves level in a matter of minutes. Shortly after being denied by Emil Audero, Gonzalo Higuain linked up with Cutrone in the final third. He then latched onto the ball into the box, steadying himself and firing a left-foot shot high into the goal.

After a well-deserved rest at the interval, both sides came out in search of a potential winner. Audero was forced into a double save to deny Higuain and did well to deny Suso’s shot from the edge of the box with just under one hour played. It was the Spaniard however who dealt the decisive blow just minutes later. Suso cut in from the right and from just outside the box launched a low right-footed shot into the far corner, just out of the reach of a diving Audero.

The Blucerchiati were unable to bounce back as they had done so well in the first period. Despite a disappointing result they can leave Milan with their heads held high, having certainly made life difficult for Sunday evening’s opponents, just as Marco Giampaolo warned in the pre-match press conference.

Milan 3-2 Sampdoria (HT: 2-2)
Scorers: Cutrone 17, Saponara 21, Quagliarella 31, Higuain 36, Suso 62.

Milan (4-4-2): G. Donnarumma; Calabria (Abate 78), Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Suso, Kessie, Biglia, Laxalt (Calhanoglu 89); Cutrone (Castillejo 76), Higuain.
Subs not used: Reina, A. Donnarumma, Mauri, Borini, Conti, Bakayoko, Bertolacci, Zapata, Abate, Halilovic.
Coach: Gattuso.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Audero; Bereszynski, Tonelli, Andersen, Murru (Sala 74); Praet, Ekdal, Linetty; Saponara (Caprari 76); Defrel (Kownacki 61), Quagliarella.
Subs not used: Rafael, Belec, Vieira, Barreto, Ramírez, Jankto, Colley, Tavares, Ferrari.
Coach: Giampaolo.

Referee: Maresca (Naples).
Assistants: Liberti (Pisa) and Mondin (Treviso).
Fourth official: Pasqua (Tivoli).
VAR: Orsato (Schio).
Assistant VAR: Meli (Parma).
Yellow cards: Linetty 25, Sala 60, Abate 80, Kessie 82.
Added time: 1 + 4 minutes.

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