Carlos Bacca came off the bench to score a late winner as Milan won a hard-fought victory at Sampdoria.
The Colombian forward had been dropped to the bench after a reported bust-up with Coach Vincenzo Montella, but he was the Rossoneri’s hero at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
With both looking to bounce back from defeats in Round 3 of Serie A matches, Gianluca Lapadula replaced Bacca as Montella's team lined up in a 4-3-3 formation.
Sampdoria meanwhile were missing the suspended Ricky Alvarez, sent off in the dramatic 3-2 defeat to Roma last weekend.
The opening stages were fairly uneventful, with Samp defender Milan Skriniar close to putting through his own net when he diverted M’Baye Niang’s cross narrowly wide of the home goal.
At the other end, the Blucerchiati began to threaten and Lucas Torreira’s effort was well kept out by Gigi Donnarumma. Luis Muriel regularly stretched the Rossoneri defence as Marco Giampaolo’s team looked the more likely to break the deadlock. Only some last ditch defending denied Fabio Quagliarella getting a shot off.
Milan’s best chance of the half came when Lapadula got on the end of Giacomo Bonaventura’s excellent through ball, only to blaze over when through on goal.
The second period saw Milan enjoy more possession without necessarily creating too many opportunities. Bacca entered the fray shortly after the hour mark, coming on for the man who had origianlly replaced him - Lapadula.
The Rossoneri had decent penalty appeals from Suso and Giacomo Bonaventura turned down, while the impressive Muriel hit the post and had a goal disallowed for Sampdoria.
It appeared to be heading for a stalemate until, five minutes from time, Bacca produced the decisive intervention. The 30-year-old got on the end of Suso's ball and gave Emiliano Viviano no chance with his finish.
Samp will feel hard done by in defeat, but Milan and Montella held on to claim a much needed three points.
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