NEWS
Wednesday January 26 2011
Coppa: Pato's Milan conquer Samp

Alexandre Pato's brace sent a revamped Milan through to the Coppa Italia semi-final, beating Sampdoria 2-1 at Marassi.

Max Allegri threw on new buys Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson, who only arrived over the last couple of days, but Antonio Cassano was on the bench against the club he left in bitter circumstances.

The Coach had few options, as the injury list included Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gianluca Zambrotta, Alessandro Nesta, Daniele Bonera, Massimo Ambrosini and Marco Amelia.

Samp also went with their new boys, giving Massimo Maccarone his debut alongside Federico Macheda.

Milan thought they had taken the lead after six minutes with Emanuelson, but he was flagged offside when turning the volley into the far bottom corner from a tight angle.

The Rossoneri had most of the ball and broke the deadlock properly on 17 minutes. A corner was not dealt with effectively and Thiago Silva nodded it down for Pato.

The young Brazilian wasted no time, smacking an angled drive on the volley across Junior Da Costa.

Pato did the second all by himself with a magnificent solo effort. Emanuelson threaded through the middle for Pato outside the D, who spun round Massimo Volta and ran into the box to blast under the bar.

Samp fought back as Flavio Roma fingertipped a Macheda effort over, then the former Manchester United starlet flashed a daisy-cutter inches past the upright.

Maccarone's volley was charged down from six yards by a brave Sokratis Papastathopoulos, but before the break Robinho skimmed the near post under pressure.

Alexander Merkel threatened a third after the restart when sent clear by a through ball, but hesitated and allowed Da Costa to smother at his feet.

However, Sampdoria got back into the game with a great goal from Stefano Guberti, who changed his position to play as a trequartista.

Maccarone deserves much of the credit, dragging Sokratis wide to then curl a cross on to his glancing header from six yards.

Macheda had penalty appeals waved away for a tussle with Sokratis, although they seemed to go shoulder to shoulder, but as the move continued Da Costa parried from Robinho.

Roma had to time his exit perfectly to stop Maccarone tapping in another Macheda assist from point-blank range, while Guberti rushed his volley from a promising position.

Cassano came on against the side he had a bitter split from this season and was welcomed by a hail of jeers and insults from the Marassi crowd. He nearly scored with a solo effort that whistled just wide, earning another chorus of boos from his former fans.

Milan go through to face Palermo in the Coppa Italia semi-final.

Sampdoria 1-2 Milan

Scorers: Pato 17, 22 (M), Guberti 51 (S)

Sampdoria: Da Costa; Volta, Accardi, Zauri, Ziegler; Palombo, Poli (Tissone 65), Mannini (Koman 72), Guberti; Maccarone, Macheda

Milan: Roma; Yepes, Sokratis, Oddo, Antonini (Jankulovski 80); Van Bommel, Emanuelson, Thiago Silva; Merkel; Pato (Ibrahimovic 87), Robinho (Cassano 78)

Ref: Mazzoleni

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