GOALKEEPERS: A. Donnarumma, G. Donnarumma, Gabriel
DEFENDERS: Abate, Antonelli, Bonucci, Calabria, Gomez, Musacchio, Rodriguez, Romagnoli, Zapata
MIDFIELDERS: Biglia, Bonaventura, Calhanoglu, Locatelli, Mauri, Montolivo
FORWARDS: Borini, Cutrone, André Silva, Suso.
#ACMilan XI: Donnarumma; Calabria, Bonucci, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Montolivo, Biglia, Bonaventura; Suso, Cutrone, Calhanoglu— AC Milan (@acmilan) February 18, 2018
Subs | Panchina: Donnarumma A., Guarnone, Abate, Antonelli, Gomez, Musacchio, Zapata, Locatelli, Mauri, Borini, André Silva, Tsadjout#MilanSampdoria pic.twitter.com/MdeyEvfeL7
Injuries & Suspensions:
Milan: Franck Kessie is out for accumulation of yellow cards. Nikloa Kalinic is still nursing a strain and Andrea Conti continues to work on getting back to 100% fitness level.
Sampdoria: Denis Praet still out for a few more weeks with his thigh strain.
After dominating SPAL and beating Ludogorets in Bulgaria, the Rossoneri confidence is high at the moment. The only troubling issue is, so is their opponent. Gattuso said it best when he referenced San Siro as being their “secret weapon”. There isn’t much separating these two sides right now and home field could be the difference maker. Combine that with workhorse Franck Kessie missing his first match, it’s anyone’s guess who comes out on top.
On course for their highest finish since 2011, and also in good form at the moment, there is little the Sampdorian lads think they cannot do. They took the fight to Roma, Fiorentina, and us, beating Milan 2-0 back in September.
Milan came out firing in the first half. There was some surprise starts as the 33 year old Riccardo Montolivo got the nod with Kessie’s absence. David Calabria, quickly becoming a Gattuso favorite, also started over Ignazio Abate.
The Rossoneri poured on the attack from the first blow of the whistle. Suso and Giacomo Bonaventura were early standouts. There is something to be said about the recent form of our Spanish winger; he’s on fire right now. Every ball into the middle and every run down the line, looks dangerous and unstoppable for the opposition.
Another bright spot is Davide Calabria. His movement and interplay with Suso on the right side has caused fits for Sampdoria’s defensive line. All of our chances would be generated from that connection, which led to a penalty call in the box. Calabria would be looking to fire low into the box however, Sampdoria defender Lynetti would throw his arm at the ball, resulting in a Ricardo Rodriguez effort. Rodriguez, who has been nearly perfect from the penalty spot, looked unsure of himself from the first step forward. He wasn’t sure which direction to send the ball, which resulted in a weak effort to the right, which saw the keeper block easily.
However, the Rossoneri would not be done there. A few minutes later, the Suso to Calabria connection sparked again, and this time, Sampdoria could do little to stop it.
Milan looked dangerous for the remainder of the half, however, were not able to capitalize on their chances.
VAR would play another major contributor to this match. On a wonderful set piece, Hakan would trail off the free kick, Suso finding him on the wing, and a cross that found itself to Bonucci’s right foot and the back of the net. Unfortunately for Milan, VAR found Leonardo Bonnuci offside, and the goal was disallowed.
It’s been all Milan for the first half. If they can keep up the same vigor and intensity in the second, we should be looking at three points.
The second half started as well as the first. There was a minor delay with the linesman’s offside flag, but thankfully for everyone, Gennaro Gattuso was on the case!
When we finally got started again Milan were right back at it. Attacking from all different directions but really utilizing their wingers, and really, wingbacks. Hakan almost had the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for from the Turkish international. He caught the ball and dragged it along the top of the box. Found himself a bit of space, and decided to fire a rocket towards the top right corner. And boy, did he come close.
There were plenty of missed opportunites by the 65th minute and Milan fans started to get nervous around the pitch, and at home. Suso would be the next to baffle fans as a wonderful cross from Rodriguez found the Spanish winger in front of net with just the keeper. Suso left-footed a pass/shot on goal that was way wide. I’m not sure if he expected Cutrone to make a run to the back post or he just mishit the ball, but it was just another tick for the ‘missed opportunities’ counter.
In the 75th minute Andre Silva came on for the mostly lifeless Patrick Cutrone, and the Rossoneri really took off. Chance after chance came for Milan, but they just could not find a way to capitalize. Their best chance came in the way of a 1-2 punch from Hakan and Silva, who remarkably almost had a wonderful assist with a diving header.
I was waiting for Milan to get burned for missing all of their wonderful opportunities. They created wonderfully and showed some real team football out there today. It’s a shame they couldn’t capitalize a bit more, particularly Hakan. Still, three points will see Milan on level with Sampdoria in the table, even if behind on goal differential. This is a massive win for a team who is looking for European contention next season. Gattuso might as well have been on the pitch with his lads, as he was running up and down giving instruction, and revving up the crowd.
Wonderful team result today.
Who was your man of the match against Sampdoria?
This poll is closed