Gianluigi Donnarumma’s howler gifted Gregoire Defrel the goal within 33 seconds and it proved the difference as Sampdoria beat Milan.
The Rossoneri dropped down to fourth place after their Derby della Madonnina defeat, so rested Lucas Paqueta and dropped Franck Kessie following his ugly touchline row with teammate Lucas Biglia. Samp missed Gianluca Caprari, Albin Ekdal and Edgar Barreto, but Ronaldo Vieira shook off a knock to start. Above all, this represented a duel for the Capocannoniere title between Fabio Quagliarella and Krzysztof Piatek.
It was a disastrous start for Gianluigi Donnarumma, who tried to play it out from the back, but passed straight to Gregoire Defrel for the tap-in from eight yards within 33 seconds. This represented the fastest goal conceded by Milan in Serie A since Opta began collecting the statistics in 2004-05.
Piatek chested down a long ball and cut back past Omar Colley to force a desperate Emil Audero save, while Donnarumma turned Quagliarella’s strike round the base of the near post on a Karol Linetty through ball.
Mateo Musacchio didn’t learn the lesson and almost gifted Samp another goal, fortunate the ricochet was not kind to Quagliarella on a dismal pass.
Audero again got down very well to push a Suso curler out of the far bottom corner and Quagliarella’s effort was wide of the far post from a tight angle, but Milan only really threatened on the stroke of half-time when Mateo Musacchio’s shot was deflected.
Gennaro Gattuso introduced Andrea Conti for Ricardo Rodriguez, but Defrel wasted a great chance to make it 2-0 when volleying Nicola Murru’s cross over at the back post.
Suso’s attempt was deflected wide, then Tiemoue Bakayoko had the ball in the net from a corner, but both he and Musacchio had fouled Audero.
Patrick Cutrone and Lucas Paqueta came on, but Quagliarella almost made it 2-0 on 72 minutes when his shot from 12 yards took a deflection off Musacchio and bounced off the crossbar.
Defrel should’ve completed his brace when sent clear by a Jakub Jankto slide-rule pass, but it was on his weaker right foot and he fired straight at Donnarumma.
Cutrone attempted a back-heel flick on Conti’s cross, which Audero was able to smother, but there was controversy in the final minute of regular time. Murru made a last-ditch tackle on Piatek in the penalty area and after a VAR viewing, referee Daniele Orsato stood by his original decision that it was a clean challenge, albeit a very risky one. Murru got a stud to the ball first, as shown by one of the camera angles.
It was end to end in stoppages, as Donnarumma used his legs to deny Riccardo Saponara’s angled drive and Piatek’s header was easy prey for Audero.
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