Sampdoria – AC Milan: Ten-men Milan Grab Three Points In Hard-fought Win (1-2)
After a strong start, Milan came away with the win despite a complicated second half in which Rafael Leão received a red card and forced his team to battle courageous Sampdoria until the last breath of the game. Sampdoria used the wings to trouble Milan, but Pioli’s men responded with character.
Tactical analysis and match report written by Giovanni Cesaroni.
A tricky match awaited Milan in the noisy Marassi, home of Sampdoria. The hosts, in fact, had collected their only two points so far this season by drawing against Juventus and Lazio in front of their fans whereas Milan were still winless away from home. After the deserved win in the Milan derby against Internazionale, spirits were still high before the start of the match among the current Italian champions, despite an unconvincing performance in the mid-week Champions League fixture against Salzburg, which ended in a draw.
For this match, Sampdoria’s head coach Marco Giampaolo, opted for a brand new 4-1-4-1 shape, instead of his classic 4-3-1-2 formation. The biggest changes regarded the midfield, where Spanish midfielder Gonzalo Villar came in as the pivot in front of the back four. The completely reshaped midfield saw the presence of Tomas Rincon and Abdelhamid Sabiri in the middle while Mehdi Leris and Filip Djuričić started on the wings. Up front, the lone striker Francesco Caputo.
As for Milan, Stefano Pioli intended to continue with his rotations to allow some of his regular starters to rest: Simon Kjaer, eager to get significant minutes under his belt, took the place of Fikayo Tomori as center-back while Tommaso Pobega and Sandro Tonali formed the . . .