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Milan reinforced their grip on top spot in Serie A with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria on Sunday thanks to goals from Franck Kessie and Samu Castillejo.
Ivory Coast midfielder Kessie gave the Rossoneri the lead from the penalty spot after Jakub Jankto drove into the box.
Spaniard Castillejo scored on his first touch of the game to mark Milan’s second before Albin Ekdal secured a tense finish as he entered from a corner.
Milan are now five points ahead of Inter, who are in second place, after 10 games, with Napoli and Juventus one point behind in the third and fourth.
9 – AC Milan have won eight of the first 10 games played in Serie A 2020/21: During the previous 86 seasons in the competition, the Rossoneri had won the most at this point in the season in 1954/55 alone (nine games ).# SampdoriaMilan pic.twitter.com/y6J54Bz3DX
– OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 6, 2020
Gianluigi Donnarumma was on the scene early on when a Sampdoria corner kick presented Lorenzo Tonelli with a header from close range, which the Milan goalkeeper pushed over the crossbar.
Milan gradually discovered their rhythm and Sandro Tonali sent Brahim Díaz clear, but he wavered in a good position and instead threw Ante Rebic whose shot was weak.
Without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan often lacked spark in attack, though only a brilliant piece of defense kept Rebic out. The Croatian chased a ball high over the area into the area and pushed it past goalkeeper Emil Audero, only for Tonelli to slide back and hook the line.
Milan received a penalty at the halftime hit when the referee judged Jankto’s arm to have been away from his body as he tried to block a header from Theo Hernandez, and Kessie duly converted from the spot.
Stefano Pioli’s side crashed into the wood just after the break as Tonali finished off a deft pass pass with a shot to the post that Audero recovered to collect.
Sampdoria eventually came to life and pinned Milan in their own half, but despite forcing three corners, the Blucerchiati were unable to seriously upset Donnarumma.
Tonali did well not to react to the provocation of Antonio Candreva, who twisted his ear in a strange incident at the time from which the Inter midfielder on loan was lucky not to have been booked.
Pioli launched Castillejo for Alexis Saelemaekers with 13 minutes remaining and the Spaniard made an immediate impact by shooting on goal from a Rebic cross.
Sampdoria retired a goal when Ekdal managed to slip the ball from a corner, which was deemed to have crossed the line using goalline technology despite Donnarumma’s efforts to get it out.
Ekdal had a chance to equalize when he died when he encountered Candreva’s center, but was only able to place his header from very close.
What does that mean? Formidable Milan on the road
Milan have won their last seven league matches away from home and have only managed to rack up as many away successes twice in their history in Serie A: in 1993 with Fabio Capello (nine straight away wins) and in 1964 with Nils . Liedholm (seven wins).
If Pioli’s team is to go all the way and rise to the ranks to win its first Scudetto since 2011, then it will be necessary to continue to score hard-fought victories away from San Siro.
Kessie keep calm
Kessie looked eager before taking the penalty, but then boldly hit it in the center of the goal when Audero committed.
Milan are now undefeated in 18 Serie A games in which Kessie found the net (won 16, drew two) and set a new club record by scoring in 30 consecutive league games, eclipsing a 29-game streak between 1972. and 1973.
Quiet game for Quagliarella
Milan is the team that Sampdoria captain Fabio Quagliarella has faced the most times in Serie A matches at home (15) without finding the net.
Quagliarella had another difficult game up front against the Rossoneri, as he failed to hit and failed to shoot on target throughout the match.
Milan will travel to Sparta Prague for their final match of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, while Sampdoria will travel to Napoli in Serie A next Sunday.