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Italy - Serie A
February 23, 2014
• Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genova
Referee: D. Doveri
• Attendance: 23318
A. Taarabt 12'
A. Rami 58'
A deserved win for Milan, whose resurgence under Seedorf continues. Thank you very much for joining me, Tom Webber, this afternoon. It has been a pleasure.
FULL TIME - Sampdoria 0-2 Milan: Goals from Taarabt and Rami secure an impressive three points for the Rossoneri in just their third win away from home this season. The Blucerchiati's frustrations grew as the game went on and they ended the game with 10 men as Maxi Lopez was shown a red card.
90' + 3'
The final whistle goes! Milan have an impressive away win.
90' + 3'
EDER! The Brazilian creates space for a shot impressively but he curls a shot down the centre of the goal which Amelia tips behind for a corner.
90' + 1'
We are into the first of an additional three minutes.
RAMI! ALMOST HIS SECOND! A corner is taken short to Montolivo and he whips a teasing cross into the box. Rami rises highest and powers a header on target, but he sends it straight down the middle and Da Costa holds it.
Taarabt again proves dangerous as he glides in from the left before rolling possession on to Pazzini. The striker attempts to run around the outside of the defence but he is unable to do so.
The game has certainly calmed down now after the mad 10 minutes following the penalty claim for the hosts and Maxi Lopez's red card. The crowd seem less riled up now, with the whistles while the Rossoneri have possession dying down.
Milan are just over five minutes away from picking up just their third away win of the season. Seedorf's impressive start as a Serie A coach looks sure to continue with a victory today, while Mihajlovic looks on in a forlorn manner.
WHAT A SAVE!! Renan drives a cross/shot into the box and Eder meets it six yards out, angling it onto the target. Amelia is down low, though, and spreads himself to block the shot from finding the back of the net. Quality from the keeper again.
The Rossoneri are keeping the ball well here and are doing a good job of taking the sting out of the game in the final 10 minutes. Pazzini has just come back onto the pitch after receiving treatment for what looked like a bloody nose.
Taarabt glides in from the left and attempts to slip a pass in behind for Pazzini but he is unable to pick out his team-mate. The Moroccan has been impressive once more this afternoon.
Yellow Card Keisuke Honda
Maxi Lopez had added some vigor and purpose to the Sampdoria attack following his introduction, but it was pure idiocy that saw him dismissed. It surely all but ends any chance the hosts had of finding a route back into the game.
Yellow Card Manolo Gabbiadini
Gabbiadini is the next to go overboard, flying into a tackle and picking up a booking for it. Things are really heating up at the Luigi Ferraris.
Yellow/Red Maxi López
Yellow Card Maxi López
The home fans, and players alike, were disappointed they were not awarded a penalty. But once their protests subside and Eder's treatment ends, play eventually continues.
EXCELLENT KEEPING! Maxi Lopez puts Eder through one-on-one with Amelia but the keeper rushes out and slides in, taking the ball away from the Brazilian despite his touch. A very important moment for Milan there.
It is difficult to see Sampdoria working themselves back into this one. They have looked rather blunt up top this afternoon, with only Gabbiadini really proving dangerous.
The Blucerchiati attempt a rather intricate routine from the free kick, with no fewer than three touches before Palombo pulls the trigger. The midfielder fails to guide his effort around the wall and on target, though.
Yellow Card Sulley Muntari
Muntari seems to clip the heels of Gabbiadini in a dangerous area. Can Sampdoria use this set piece to bring themselves back into the game?
Yellow Card Andrea Costa
The game eventually gets back underway following protests from the Sampdoria players at the decision to let that goal stand. Once more, though, Da Costa was far from convincing between the sticks.
Goal Adil Rami
GOOOOOAAAL! MILAN DOUBLE THEIR LEAD! A short corner is eventually clipped in by Taarabt and Pazzini challenges Da Costa to the ball. The pair collide in the air but the referee decides there is no foul after Rami heads in at the back post. Controversial decision from the referee.
Maxi Lopez spent part of the 2011-12 season with Milan, and he comes on for Sampdoria today to a good reception. A very positive move as he replaces the midfielder Obiang. Two strikers on for the hosts now.
Milan have won just two games on their travels in Serie A all season. A victory here would be huge.
The Blucerchiati waste the corner and Milan come away on the break. Taarabt attempts to release Muntari to his left but he overhits his pass. Muntari doesn't give up on it and manages to slide a foot around Gabbiadini to keep it in play, but Da Costa mops up the loose ball.
Sampdoria earn a free kick out on the right and it is taken short. Obiang eventually angles the ball into the box and Rami is forced to head behind, conceding a corner.
Honda looks to drive in from the right flank but Soriano comes across and overpowers the Japanese, forcing him off the ball and launching a Sampdoria break. The ball is worked out to Krsticic on the right but he is adjudged offside.
PALOMBO! The midfielder releases an effort from distance, slicing across the ball to send it swerving towards the top corner. Unfortunately for him he puts too much behind it and it bends away from the goal, missing the target.
Sampdoria get the second half underway.
The teams are making their way back out onto the pitch now so the second half will be upon us shortly.
Still, in such an unpredictable season for Milan there is no way of telling whether they will be able to maintain their performance in the second half a pick up all three points against a team who have impressed at home as of late. Stay tuned for the second half.
HALF TIME - Sampdoria 0-1 Milan: The Rossoneri lead after Da Costa's poor goalkeeping offered Taarabt a simple finish from close range. There were signs of a Blucerchiati resurgence late on in the half, but in truth they have not really worried the Diavolo defence as of yet.
There is no stoppage time played at the end of the first half, so Milan go into the break 1-0 up.
He sends it deep to the far post and Pazzini gets his head on it, but he is unable to generate enough power to worry the keeper.
Wzsolek goes in with studs raised on Zaccardo and so the referee awards a free kick out on the far side. Honda will swing this one in...
Yellow Card Angelo Palombo
Obiang initiates some intricate passing in the final third but as he looks to feed Eder, the Brazilian is overpowered by Rami and the centre-back clears the danger. Samdporia have created very little in this first half.
SO CLOSE!! Saponara really should have netted the second there, but his volley from Constant's cutback rose over the bar and went behind. Still, a lovely move from the Rossoneri.
Lovely skills from Taarabt on the left as he burns away from Fornasier and cuts the ball back for Saponara, but his shot is weak and rolls at the feet of Da Costa.
This is a better spell for Sampdoria as Wzsolek slaloms down the left before laying a pass back to Costa to cross. Once more a Sampdoria head is not found and Milan are able to deal with it, however, they cannot allow the hosts to start gaining momentum before the break.
The Blucerchiati finally manage to push Milan back and Fornasier swings a decent delivery in from the right flank. He was looking for Eder but Zaccarado got his head to it to clear the danger.
Muntari unleashes a wild effort from just outside the box which soars into the netting high behind the goal. Not a great effort from the Ghanaian.
Yellow Card Shkodran Mustafi
Pazzini, who has been busy so far this afternoon, skips away from Mustafi and the German has a quick tug on his shirt to stop him from racing through on goal. The centre-back earns himself a booking for that.
Seedorf will be please with the performance of his side so far. They have been very positive so far and have looked a threat even without Balotelli on the pitch.
Constant gets forward for the first time this afternoon and cuts the ball back to Honda on the edge of the box. He hits a low shot towards the bottom corner but Da Costa scurries over to his left and leaps on top of it.
GREAT PASS! Honda sends a lovely ball through the heart of the defence which Saponara looks to run onto. Just as he is about to stick out a leg and prod an effort towards goal, Da Costa races off his line and dives on the ball.
Gabbiadini again proves the dangerman for Sampdoria as he juggles the ball across the top of the box. It eventually settles for him to strike it, but his effort is rather tame and Amelia dives to his right to make a rather comfortable save.
Yellow Card Kevin Constant
Obiang puts a strong challenge in on Honda 25 yards out and looks to feed Eder immediately. He misplaces his pass, though, and hands possession straight back to the Rossoneri. Confidence is coursing through Seedorf's side at the moment.
Bar some impressive moments early on, Sampdoria have not really threatened in this game. Milan have showed an ability to penetrate the space in behind the Blucerchiati defence on a number of occasions already today, and deservedly lead.
The freekick is taken short and Milan win possession and launch a counter. Pazzini tries to weave his way into the area but comes up against a blue wall and is dispossessed 20 yards out from goal.
Muntari goes in late on Obiang and receives a stern talking to from the referee. He brought the midfielder down needlessly just outside the centre circle.
Over the top! Honda pulls the trigger from about 25 yards but his shot flies well high of the goal. That was never testing Da Costa.
Eder moves out to the right and whips a great cross into the middle. Amelia moves out of his goal in order to claim it, but he allows it to bounce ahead of him and Krsticic narrowly misses out on a simple finish with the ball just out of his reach.
I've already mentioned Gabbiadini's impressive attacking this afternoon, but he failed to provide the same efforts defensively there. He left Taarabt in acres of space to get on the end of that cross and is largely culpable for that goal.
Goal Adel Taarabt
GOOOOOOOAAL! Milan take the lead! A brilliant cross from the right is met by the head of an unmarked Taarabt at the back post. His initial header is stopped by Da Costa but he palms it straight at the feet of the Moroccan, who stabs home at the second attempt.
Good defending from Mustafi again as he beats Saponara to a long ball over the top and calmly halts the attack after another pass over the top. Sampdoria are looking vulnerable to those at the moment.
Montolivo shows his composure on the ball to skip away from his marker and flight a great pass into Pazzini. The former Sampdoria man manages to get a glancing header on the end of it but it was never going to test the keeper.
CHANCE!! Gabbiadini drifts inside from the right and looks to bend a left-footed effort inside the far post. He fails to hit the target and his attempt is just behind Wszolek, who is unable to get his head on the end of it.
OFF THE LINE!! Honda clips a lovely pass over the top which Pazzini latches onto. From an acute angle he loops the ball over the goalkeeper but Mustafi gets back to cover and head the effort away from danger. First real chance of the game there.
Gabbiandini has been lively so far in the early stages and is striking up some impressive combination play with Eder. This time around he fails to wriggle his way through the defence and has possession taken from him at the top of the box. Plenty of movement out of possession from the hosts, though.
Obiang attempts to pick out Eder with a long pass up from inside his own half but Montolivo reads his intentions, getting across to intercept. He brings it down and lifts the ball back over the Brazilian before slowing the tempo and moving possession on.
A sumptuous touch from Gabbiadini sets Eder away behind the defence but he pushes Constant to ground and concedes a free kick as he tries to force the defender away from the ball.
We are underway! Milan get the ball rolling.
Just under five minutes to go until kick off. Historically, Milan have found it difficult to pick up points at the Luigi Ferraris. Will today be more of the same?
Milan's last Serie A victory at the Luigi Ferraris came back in October 2007 when they secured an impressive 5-0 victory. Kaka, who starts on the bench today, opened the scoring on that day, while the scorer of the fifth goal, Clarence Seedorf, watches on from the bench in his new role as coach. It will certainly be a difficult trip for the Rossoneri this afternoon.
Balotelli has scored four of the Rossoneri's seven goals since the arrival of Seedorf as coach in January. The onus for goal scoring will therefore fall largely upon Giampaolo Pazzini today, against his former club for whom he netted 36 times in 75 Serie A appearances.
Milan suffered a disappointing midweek defeat at home to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie. Seedorf subsequently makes nine changes to the team, only three of which are forced as Mario Balotelli and Mattia De Sciglio are sidelined due to injury while Christian Abbiati sits out with illness.
Lorenzo De Silvestri and Daniele Gastaldello are both unavailable due to suspensions so Sinisa Mihajlovic is forced to field Michele Fornasier at right-back. Eder starts in attack for the Blucerchiati with former Milan loanee Maxi Lopez on the bench.
Milan substitutes: Gabriel, Coppola, Mexes, Emanuelson, Essien, De Jong, Poli, Kaka, Petagna.
Milan (4-2-3-1): Amelia; Abate, Zaccardo, Rami, Constant; Montolivo, Muntari; Honda, Saponara, Taarabt; Pazzini.
Sampdoria substitutes: Fiorillo, Falcone, Berardi, Salamon, Rodriguez, Renan, Bjarnason, Sestu, Soriano, Sansone, Okaka, Maxi Lopez.
Sampdoria (4-2-3-1): Da Costa; Fornasier, Mustafi, Regini, Costa; Palombo, Obiang; Gabbiadini, Kristicic, Wszolek; Eder.
The coaches have named their line-ups now, so let's see who will be taking to the field today.
Clarence Seedorf and Sinisa Mihajlovic go head-to-head from opposing dugouts this afternoon, but the pair were team-mates at Sampdoria back in the 1995-96 season. Today, though, the have different objectives. The Serbian will want the hosts to move themselves away from the teams down the bottom, while the Dutchman will be eager for his side to cement their place in the top half.
Hello and welcome to this afternoon's LIVE play-by-play commentary on the Serie A meeting between Sampdoria and AC Milan. The Stadio Luigi Ferraris is the destination for today's game which both sides will be keen to win to propel themselves higher up the table. My name is Tom Webber and I will be guiding you through the action.
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