AC Milan maintained their lead Serie A after securing a 2-1 victory away to Sampdoria in Week 10 of the 2020/21 season.
The latest victory not only puts them five points ahead of city rival Inter at the top of the league table but they were able to match some feats achieved by their illustrious predecessors.
Their triumph against the Blucerchiati was their eight win of the Serie A campaign and in 86 seasons competing in Italy’s top flight, the Rossoneri have performed better in the opening 10 rounds of a championship only once in 1954/55, when they won nine and went on to win the scudetto.
AC Milan with their goals against Samp have a new record, extending their run to 30 league matches in which they have scored. Another one they have created is that they have played 12 consecutive Serie A matches in which they have scored two goals or more in a game.
The victory against Sampdoria was also their seventh consecutive away win in Serie A, and they have only bettered that just once in 1993 under Fabio Capello, winning nine times in a row.
KESSIE BECOMES UNLIKELY GOAL SOURCE
Although Zlatan Ibrahimovic is arguably the most talented player in the AC Milan squad, Franck Kessie once again demonstrated his importance to the Rossoneri under Stefano Pioli.
The Diavolo tactician was back on the bench after recovering from COVID-19 and the Ivorian did not his coach down. The box-to-box midfielder was given a yellow card after fouling Sampdoria forward Manolo Gabbiadini early in the game but he did not let that deter his performance.
Kessie once again showed the grit, stamina, and energy that he is renowned for, but he has turned into an unlikely source for goals and he opened the scoring against Sampdoria with a penalty near the end of the first half.
Since joining from Atalanta in the 2017/18 season, the Ivorian has scored 20 goals in Serie A, which is just as many as Ibrahimovic in that time and no other Rossoneri player has scored more than those two.
The 23-year-old has scored four goals in 10 league matches so far in 2020/21, equalling his tally from 35 games in 2019/20. He is the only central midfielder to have scored at least four goals in the last five seasons from 2016/17 in Europe’s Top Five leagues.
His goal against Sampdoria was his 26th goal in Serie A and 50 percent of them have come from the penalty spot.
EKDAL EFFORTS STILL MAKE HISTORY
Swedish midfielder Albin Ekdal had the opportunity to become a Sampdoria hero but he was not able to score an equaliser at the death. He had come onto the pitch at half time to replace Adrien Silva and he had pulled a goal back with a header but he could not repeat the trick with the final touch of the game.
The 31-year-old was not able to alter the outcome of the match but his consolation still had some significance. His header against Milan was his first Serie A goal since May 2015, when he scored for Cagliari in a 4-0 victory against Parma.
Ekdal also became just the second Swede to have scored for Il Doria in Serie A after Lennart Skoglund, who scored 15 goals between 1959 and 1962.