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26 August 2012
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: L. Banti
• Attendance: 49000
A. Costa 59'
And that's it! The final whistle blows, and Sampdoria have beaten Milan here at San Siro 1-0. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me.
90' + 5'
A cross from Constant is flapped at by Romero. It goes out to Flamini, who shoots, but it's blocked on the line by Gastaldello and cleared. Amazing scenes at the end.
90' + 4'
It's another great chance for Boateng, but again he can't finish! De Sciglio whips it in from the right, towards th Ghanian. He gets up and heads at goal, but Romero is there to save.
90' + 3'
Bonera tussles with Maxi Lopez inside the centre circle, and the Italian international pulls back the club's former forward so as to stop him counter-attacking.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Daniele Bonera
90' + 1'
We'll have four minutes of added time here.
OHH!! So close for Milan!! Boateng, on the left-hand side, cut in on his right foot, and shot from 30 yards. The effort is deflected, but it's deflected on to the post with Romero nowhere to be seen.
That just about sums Milan up today. Boateng, on the right-hand side of the area, is all alone, and just has to smash the ball across the box for someone to tap in. Instead, he tries an acrobatic effort, that goes out for a goal kick.
OHHH! Great chance for Milan! De Sciglio whips in another great cross from the right, towards Emanuelson. The former Ajax man takes a touch, and slips Constant through on the left-hand side of the area. The man on-loan from Genoa hits it first time, but it's straight at Romero, and the Argentine saves easily.
It's Constant now for the Rossoneri. He drives past Berardi, but once he gets around the 24-year-old, he can't get his cross into the area.
Montolivo, who's been extraordinarily quiet today, tries to chip a cross into the path of Pazzini. Romero howevr, comes out strongly, and catches the ball on the six-yard line.
Yellow Card Sergio Romero
It's Tissone with the ball now for Samp. He drives forward down the centre of the pitch, and goes for a strike at goal. His effort though, is shanked over and wide from 25 yards.
Yellow Card Fernando Tissone
This game is getting bitty now. Pazzini nicks the ball from the feet of Tissone, but the Argentine is determined to win it back, and instead comes in from behind to foul the substitute inside the centre circle.
Tissone whips it in from deep on the left-hand touchline, but his cross is overhit, and Milan have a throw in by the corner flag.
A flurry of changes disrupts the game, but we're back now, and Soriano wins a free kick after the challenge of Antonini.
Maxi Lopez comes on to a mixed reception from the San Siro crowd. That's what happens when you score one league goal in your Milan career.
Sampdoria finally get out of their half with Poli. He skips past Nocerino, and tries to clip a ball on to the head of Obiang inside the area. The cross is slightly too high for the Spaniard however, and his weak header goes into the arms of Abbiati.
A corner from the right is taken by De Sciglio, but Gastaldello heads it away for another corner. This time, the set piece is taken from the left by Emanuelson, but the referee blows for a free kick.
Boateng makes a great run down the right-hand side, and draws a late foul from Costa. Emanueslon takes the free-kick, and curls it in. The ball bobbles around the box, before a Flamini shot is deflected for a corner.
Yellow Card Andrea Costa
It's De Sciglio again on the right-hand side. This time he cuts back on to his left foot and whips it in for Pazzini. Unfortunately, the cross is overhit and Romero gathers easily.
Yellow Card Kevin-Prince Boateng
This game has really come to life now. With both Milan full-backs finally bombing forward, the Rossoneri are finally finding a way behind the Sampdoria defence.
OH MY WORD!!! WHAT A SAVE!!! De Sciglio whips the corner in from the right, where Yepes towers above the defenders and heads at goal from eight yards out. Romero though, tips it on to the post, and then turns to gather the rebound from the line. An amazing double save.
De Sciglio has done brilliantly well there. He makes an excellent 60 yard run all the way down the right-hand flank, and wins a corner off Gastaldello.
The corner comes in from the right-hand side, towards the head of Yepes, but the Colombian can't get his header on target.
Emanuelson, with his first touch of the game, whips a great ball in from the left, and it's deflected behind from Berardi for a corner.
Assist Fernando Tissone
Goal Andrea Costa
GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!!!! And it's Sampdoria who open the scoring!! A corner from the right-hand side is whipped in towards the head of Andrea Costa, who gets up, and heads brilliantly from 10 yards out to make it 1-0.
Oh, well played Eder. He steals the ball off of Boateng inside the centre circle, and goes on a storming run straight at the Milan defence. He runs out of steam a little bit, but wins a corner for Sampdoria.
Stephan El Shaarawy
Taking Ibrahimovic's No.11 shirt, Pazzini makes his way onto the pitch, and you have to say this game looks set up for a winner from the former Inter man.
Pazzini is getting instructions, and looks likely to make his debut very, very shortly.
Antonini comes forward now for Milan. The left-back crosses the bal into the box, but El Shaarawy is deemed to have fouled Rossini, and the referee blows for a free kick.
De Sciglio does really well to shrug Krsticic off the ball, on the right-hand byline. He then gives it easy to Boateng, who goes over the halfway line and releases Robinho. The former Manchester City man then attempts a one-two with El Shaarawy, but the young forward misses his pass, and gives it straight to Tissone.
Robinho wins a 50/50 with Poli - I know I couldn't believe it either - and then surges to the byline with the ball. He tries to chip it back across goal, but the cross goes onto the top of the net. That was really poor from the Brazilian.
Robinho with another effort! This time, he chests a pass down from Boateng, and strikes it with his second touch from 25 yards. The shot goes about a mile over, but this looks alot better from Milan.
Milan look to get the second half underway with a bang, as Robinho skips past Rossini on the edge of the area, and tries a shot from an acute angle. The effort is fired into the side-netting, but it's a definite improvement from the Rossoneri.
Italy Editor Kris Voakes has this from San Siro: "I can't remember the last time Milan fans were left looking so dumbfounded by such a no-show midfield performance over a 45-minute period".
Here we go then. We're back underway, and it's Milan who kick us off, going from left-to-right.
Some calls for a skillful No. 9 for Milan, whilst others are concerned by Allegri's tactics. Let me know what you think @alexjmott on Twitter.
However @Alchemist1122 is the complete opposite: "bad pitch, constant injuries and suicidal transfers..berlusconi and gallani should leave if they have any love for the club".
@Ahmed-Sheck is clearly a glass half-full type of guy: "milan's major weakness is their defence, but they look ok today. Pazzini is my prediction to grab the winner"
I have to say, it's been no classic, but there's been a lot to ponder for Milan: none of it good. Montolivo has been quiet and ineffective, whilst El Shaarawy and Robinho look unconvincing up front. Remember, you can tweet me @alexjmott with your thoughts on the game.
And that's it. The referee blows for half time, and Milan - Sampdoria goes into the break goalless.
Eder brings the ball forward now for Samp. He travels over the halfway line and towards the box, with the entire Milan backline retreating nervously. The Brazilian tries a shot from 25 yards, but Abbiati saves it easily.
Again Milan come forward, but again a chance is wasted. Antonini tries a reverse pass from the edge of the area, but it's overhit and El Shaarawy watches as it goes out for a goal kick.
Yellow Card Daniele Gastaldello
Estigarribia has it now for Samp. The Paraguayan cuts in from the right, and strikes one from the edge of the area on his left foot. Bonera comes out though, and blockes the shot.
At the risk of repeating myself, I have to say the pitch here today at San Siro has been shocking. Boateng there, tries to go on a mazey run, but the ball bobbled unexpectedly, and Tissone cleaned up for the Bluerchiati.
De Sciglio comes forward now for the first time in the match. The youngster attempts to knock it round the outside of Costa, but the man signed from Reggina in the summer, uses his experience and shields the ball out of play for a throw in to Samp.
It said 4-3-3 on the team-sheet, but this is clearly a 4-5-1 from Sampdoria. And as such, Eder is finding it really tough up front on his own.
It really is all Milan now. Sampdoria are camped outside their area, with the Rossoneri just knocking the ball square along the outside of the box. To be fair to Ferrara's side though, they're being hugely disciplined at the back, and Milan are finding it tough to get through.
It's Montolivo now, coming forward for the first time. From 25 yards, he tries to chip the ball into the path of Robinho, but Rossini comes across and blocks the pass. He then tries to knock a long ball over the top of the Milan defence for Eder, but Yepes reads it and heads clear.
Robinho comes deep to receive the ball from Nocerino. The Brazilian swivels, and in turn, turns Poli inside out. Luckily for him though, Tissone is there to come in and sweep up the danger. The former Udinese man tries to play the ball square, but the referee blows as Eder is down off the ball.
Robinho hits it, but the shot is deflected out for a corner by the wall. Robinho again takes it, and it's aimed towards the head of Yepes. The Colombian wins his aerial battle, but it goes over the bar from eight yards.
Gastaldello tries to knock Boateng off the ball outside the Samp area, but he fouls the attacker, and concedes a free kick.
You'll be pleased to hear that Obiang has returned. But the former Atletico Madrid player can't do anything about Montolivo spraying a pass out to Robinho on the left-hand side. The ball though, bounces over the head of Robinho, and it goes out for a throw in.
The game continues once again, as Nocerino and Boateng play a one-two outside the Samp area. The Ghanian tries a shot from 18 yards out, but the effort is deflected into the arms of Romero.
A challenge in the air between Montolivo and Obiang sees the Spanish midfielder go down holding his head. And it looks quite nasty.
A succession of throw-ins down the left for Milan see them go from their corner flag to halfway.
Robinho swings the corner in from the left, but his cross goes all the way through the box, and out. Some Milan players claim a handball from Gastaldello, but the referee waves play on.
Milan are just knocking the ball about now outside the Sampdoria area. Nocerino tries to thread it through to Robinho, but the pass is defelcted out for a corner.
Yellow Card Nenad Krsticic
Nenad Krsticic has been booked for what looks like dissent.
It's coming up for six hours since Sampdoria last scored here at San Siro, but you have to say, on this early evidence, it might not take long for them to end that drought here.
The first effort on goal for Milan is saved easily by Romero Robinho cuts in from the left, hits it with his right foot from the edge of the area, but the Argentine keeper saves comfortably.
It's Milan who break forward now though, through Boateng. On the right-hand touchline he slips it into the path of Robinho, who again tries to do a few tricks to get past his marker. Again though, it doesn't work, and Samp clear from the edge of their area.
OHHHH!! A great chance for Sampdoria. Eder down the left, nicks the ball off Bonera on the touchline and cuts inside, clean on goal. He enters the area, but tries to take one too many touches, and Bonera gets back to make an excellent saving challenge.
The free kick comes to nothing, and the Rossoneri break down the left through Robinho. The Brazilian does a few step-overs, but Rossini stands tall and stops him in his tracks.
Tissone tries to drive Samp forward, but he's brought down by Flamini, and the Genoa club get a free kick on the halfway line.
The new synthetic pitch at San Siro clearly needs time to bed in. Because at the moment, the ball is bobbling about all over the place.
Kris Voakes is on the ground at San Siro, and has a fan update for us: "The Sampdoria fans had to laugh when the Anti-Cassano songs started up in the Curva Sud. Seems a lot of Doriani believe in karma, clearly."
It's Estigarribia now for Sampdoria. The Paraguayan tries to slide Eder through on goal, but Yepes blocks the attempt, and releases Boateng on the counter. The Ghanian comes forward over the halfway line, and bars down on the box. He tries to pass it through to the on-runnig El Shaarawy, but it's blocked by Gastaldello, and the game breathes again.
Boateng gets his first touches of the season, as he plays a one-two down the left with Antonini. The former Tottenham looks up and plays a pass inside to Robinho, who plays it back to Nocerino 25 yards from goal. The revelation of last season tries to play a first time pass back into the area, but El Shaarawy can't win the header.
Milan come forward now for the first time. Bonera, in the centre circle, plays a long, diagonal ball to Robinho, but the Brazilian can't quite get on the end of it, and it goes out for a goal kick.
Sampdoria win a throw in from kick off, where Berardi throws it back to Gastaldello. The captain gets it just behind the halfway line and looks for a long pass over the top to Eder. Yepes reads it though, and the Colombian comes away with the ball.
After a season away from the top-flight, Sampdoria get us underway, kicking from left-to-right in their white shirts with blue trim.
The players are leaving the tunnel; the game is due to start any minute now. Can't bloody wait!
Here we go then. Milan fans, Sampdoria lovers, are you ready? Kick off is just a couple of minutes away. Do not go anywhere!
As always, here at Goal.com we want to hear what you're thoughts are as the game unfolds. Tweet me @alexjmott and tell me what you think of Milan's summer dealings, and whether they'll come up trumps today or not.
Juventus got off to winning start yesterday, can Milan respond with a win of their own today? You'll find out in just over 10 minutes!
Kris Voakes, our man on the ground in Milan, has been basking in glorious sunshine all day in northern Italy. Here he is being slightly smug about it all: "It really has been a beautiful day so far in Milan. If you were searching for clouds, you'd be right out of luck. As a result, San Siro is bathed in sunshine, although there is a fair breeze in the air, so the two goalkeepers may find themselves tested early on. The sense of nervous anticipation is very much palpable, with the Milanisti wanting a view of their new-look side in competitive action."
Sampdoria (4-3-3): Romero; Berardi, Gastaldello, Rossini, Costa; Obiang, Tissone, Poli; Estigarribia, Eder, Krsticic.
TEAM NEWS: Milan start the game WITHOUT Pazzini, which has come as quite a surprise. Allegri instead gone with Stephan EL Shaarawy to lead the line alongside Robinho. Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; De Sciglio, Bonera, Yepes, Antonini; Flamini, Nocerino, Montolivo; Boateng; Robinho, El Shaarawy.
Overall, these two teams have met 111 times in the Italian top flight. Milan lead with 58 wins, whilst Samp have come out on top 28 times, with 29 of those games ending in draw. What do you think will happen today? Give me a buzz on Twitter @alexjmott.
The Rossoneri also have a brilliant record in opening day fixtures: they have lost just once in 10 years, that a 2-1 loss to Bologna in 2008. Sampdoria though, also have a positive opening fixture record of late: they have won three and drawn one in the last four years.
Andrea Poli returns from his superb loan spell at Inter last term, whilst Maxi Lopez, Marcelo Estigarribia and Eder have joined the Bluerchiati over the summer to add a much-needed goal threat. History however, is not exactly on Ciro Ferrara's team's side: Milan have beaten Sampdoria 3-0 on their last three meetings.
What then, are Massimiliano Allegri's side's ambitions for the season to come? Today's game may show what we can expect from the Milanese giants. This Sampdoria team came up from Serie B via the paly-offs last season, and have added Serie A quality to an already strong squad.
It's been a summer to forget for the Rossoneri. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Antonio Cassano have all left for pastures new, whilst Cristian Zapata, Riccardo Montolivo and Giampaolo Pazzini have come in to replace them. Not exactly an upgrade in quality, I'm sure you'll agree?
Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage of AC Milan vs Sampdoria. I'm Alex Mott and I'll be your commentator for Sunday's Serie A opener.
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