Kessie inspires AC Milan against Colley’s Sampdoria

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The Ivory Coast international scored his fourth goal of the season when the rojiblancos collected all three points against Claudio Ranieri’s men

Franck Kessie got it right when AC Milan defeated Sampdoria 2-1 in the Italian Serie A clash on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Ivorian converted from position to give Stefano Pioli’s men a lead in the first half before substitute Samuel Castillejo scored the winning goal with 13 minutes remaining.

Despite Albin Ekdal making a setback for the determined hosts in the 82nd minute, he was unable to prevent the Reds and Blacks from clinching their third win in a row.

Seeking their first win since October, Sampdoria started the match strong and enjoyed their first opportunity in the eighth minute after a Lorenzo Tonelli header forced an acrobatic save from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

After that initial scare, the visitors almost found the net four minutes later with Alex Ferrari getting into a final block to repel a shot from Ante Rebic. They had another chance in the 18th minute with Brahi Díaz setting up Rebic, but his goal was stopped by goalkeeper Emil Audero.

In the 44th minute, the Rossoneri received a penalty after a hand-held decision against Jakub Jankto, with Kessie converting the shot.

Nine minutes past the hour, Claudio Ranieri’s team missed a chance to level things out after Morten Thorsby’s header went over the bar. However, they were two goals less in the 76th minute through Castillejo.

The 25-year-old Spanish winger finished well after a low cross by Rebic just seconds after coming off the bench for Alexis Saelemaekers.

Three minutes later, the hosts withdrew Ekdal. The Swede had another chance in the final stages to equalize, but Pioli’s team held on to leave Stadio Luigi Ferraris with all the points at stake.

Kessie, who has scored three goals in Serie A so far this season, was in action from start to finish, while Ismael Bennacer of Algeria was not on the roster for the match.

For the hosts, Gambia international Omar Colley was hired as a replacement for Bartosz Bereszynski after 20 minutes. While on loan, Monaco forward Keita Blade was expected not to participate as he is still suffering from a muscle injury.

With this result, AC Milan maintains its leadership in Serie A, accumulating 26 points in 10 starts, while Sampdoria occupies 12th place with 11 points in the same number of games.

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