Is this the match of the year? Maybe not from a numerical point of view, but it definitely was in terms of importance and performance. On a cold night in San Siro, AC Milan kept Sampdoria away from their goal line and essentially gave Gianluigi Donnarumma a unexpected day off while they made it a shootout on the other side of the pitch. Honestly, it’s hard to say when it was the last time the Rossoneri play that well, so let’s see what the numbers tell us about this huge win!
8 - It didn’t matter if it was from short, long or very long distance: Hakan Çalhanoğlu just wanted to destroy Sampdoria’s goal. The Turkish attacking midfielder was on fire last night and shot almost everything he could with extreme accuracy. Unfortunately, the crossbar and Emiliano Viviano didn’t allow Çalha to score, even if it would have been well-deserved. In case this was not enough to say his performance was excellent: his synergy with Giacomo Bonaventura looked perfect and allowed them to dominate the left wing.
Oh, and don’t forget this!
86% - Milan’s passing accuracy against the Blucerchiati. The Rossoneri have been in a good shape recently, but their passing game has never been extremely consistent as they recorded values around 82-83% most of the time — except against SPAL. Riccardo Montolivo didn’t play the best game of his career, but seemed to fit well in Gennaro Gattuso’s three-men midfield together with Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura and definitely helped them find easy solutions. Also, honorable mention to Suso, who often had to come in the defensive half of the field to help the offensive maneuver.
14 - This is well beyond the definition of “dominated game”: Milan had 14 successful tackles last night, while Sampdoria only recorded 9. So they not only controlled the pace of the game and show all their offensive weapons, but they even showed an incredible solidity in the defensive phase. Alessio Romagnoli was almost perfect and so it was the entire midfield trio. Also, they added 12 interceptions to this huge amount of tackles, which is the “Gattuso-est” thing ever.
Now the Rossoneri have to face Roma and Inter in the next two rounds and could get really close to the fourth place.