Football

Kessie inspires AC Milan past Colley’s Sampdoria

The Cote d’Ivoire international got his fourth goal of the season as the Red and Blacks picked all three points against Claudio Ranieri’s men

Franck Kessie was on target as AC Milan defeated Sampdoria 2-1 in Sunday’s Italian Serie A clash.

The 23-year-old Ivorian converted from the spot to hand Stefano Pioli’s men a first-half lead before substitute Samuel Castillejo got the winning strike with 13 minutes left to play.

Although Albin Ekdal pulled one back for the determined hosts in the 82nd minute, it could not halt the Red and Blacks from picking up their third successive victory.

Looking for their first win since October, Sampdoria started the encounter strongly and enjoyed the first chance in the eighth minute after a header from Lorenzo Tonelli forced an acrobatic save from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

After that early scare, the visitors almost found the net four minutes later with Alex Ferrari getting in a last-ditch block to repel a shot from Ante Rebic. They had another chance in the 18th minute with Brahi Diaz setting up Rebic but his strike was saved by goalkeeper Emil Audero.

In the 44th minute, the Rossoneri were handed a penalty kick after a handball decision against Jakub Jankto, with Kessie converting the ensuing kick.

Nine minutes after the hour mark, Claudio Ranieri’s side missed a chance to level matters after Morten Thorsby’s header went over the crossbar. Nevertheless, they were two goals down in the 76th minute through Castillejo.

The 25-year-old Spanish winger finished well finished well following a low cross from Rebic just seconds after coming off the bench for Alexis Saelemaekers.

Three minutes later, the hosts pulled one back Ekdal. The Swede had another chance in the closing stages to equalise but Pioli’s side hanged on to leave Stadio Luigi Ferraris with all points at stake.

Kessie who has now scored three Serie A goals so far this term was in action from start to finish while Algeria’s Ismael Bennacer was not listed for the encounter.

For the hosts, Gambia international Omar Colley was brought in as a replacement for Bartosz Bereszynski after 20 minutes. Whereas, on loan Monaco forward Keita Blade was expected not to feature as he is still nursing a muscle injury.

With this result, AC Milan maintain their lead in the Serie A log haing accrued 26 points from 10 outings, while Sampdoria occupy the 12th spot with 11 points from the same number of games.

 

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