AC Milan hosted Sampdoria at the San Siro today in a match that would likely help decide the future of Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso. The boo-birds were out in force for the team after the bad loss against Real Betis in the Europa League, especially with last weekend’s loss to Inter Milan in the Derby della Madonnina.
Milan came out in a 4-4-2 formation, instead of Gattuso’s preferred 4-3-3, meaning that both Higuian and Cutone would start and Milan looked to go on the attack, rather than sit back and try to maintain control and keep a clean sheet, which Milan haven’t been able to do all season anyway.
Milan struck first with a brilliant headed goal from Patrick Cutrone. Suso had gotten the ball on the right wing, and after he made a move to get a yard or so of space, he sent a cross into the box that Cutrone was able to put his head to and put into the back of the net.
However, Sampdoria would strike back only minutes later, as former Milan player Riccardo Saponara would bring the two sides level. Davide Calabria was beaten far too easily by Saponara and he was able to put his shot past Gigio Donnarumma far too easily in the 21st minute.
Sampdoria would take the lead ten minutes later, as once again Calabria was beaten. This time Fabio Quagliarella split the defenders, and after getting the ball, he simply dribbled past Calabria and Mateo Musacchio for an easy goal. Donnarumma perhaps could have done more to stop it, but by that point, there wasn’t a whole lot anyone could have done about the shot as Quagliarella was all alone in front of the goal.
Cutrone would provide an assist in the 36th minute as he played Gonzalo Higuain in and the Argentina international made no mistake, putting the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net. It was a great strike after a good one-two move from Cutrone and Higuain after Diego Laxalt had headed the ball to Higauin from a cross from Suso.
The half ended with the teams level, but a little bit of momentum on the side of the Rossoneri despite the two goals surrendered. While this was yet another Serie A match that Milan had failed to keep a clean sheet in, the team had come back and scored a second goal after surrendering two in quick fashion.
Suso would put Milan in front for good in the 62nd minute after a brillaint shot flew into the far corner. Suso had put a similar shot at the near post that was saved, but this time he aimed for the far post and the ball went into the back of the net.
All three of the Milan goals were created by the feet of Suso, as he crossed the ball into the box for the first two Milan goals and he scored the third one alone. Yet again, Suso seemed to be the key player for Milan.
Samu Castillejo came on for Patrick Cutrone, Igaznio Abate came on for an injured Calabria, and Hakan Calhanoglu came on very late for Laxalt. The injury to Calabria looked bad, so we will have to to wait for more information to hear if he will miss time and, if he will miss time, how long Milan be without him.
All’s well that ends well, as Milan get a good win over Sampdoria. The Rossoneri are back in action this Wednesday against Genoa at the San Siro, a make-up game for the opening game of the season. A win in that match would see Milan take the leap up the table to fourth place and absolutely take even more pressure off of the boss.
Did Milan do enough tonight to keep Gattuso employed? Or will the next loss mean the end of Rino’s tenture at Milan?