Conor Clancy Date: 3rd April 2021 at 2:29pm
Written by:

Sampdoria managed to hold on to frustrate AC Milan in Saturday’s early Serie A kick-off, valiantly earning a 1-1 draw at the Stadio San Siro despite playing the majority of the second half a man down.

A typically fabulous Fabio Quagliarella strike left Theo Hernandez redfaced to put Samp ahead, but Jens Peter Hauge did enough to rescue a point late on for Milan.

The first half was pretty uneventful as a whole, but it was Sampdoria who had the best case to argue for being deserving of a lead. Their first chance came early on as Manolo Gabbiadini looked to lift a lobbed effort over Gianluigi Donnarumma, but the Italy No.1 was able to turn it over.

Tommaso Augello and Morten Thorsby both had chances of their own as well, but Donnarumma was again on hand to come to Milan’s rescue.

But the most decisive moment of the first half came when Adrien Silva delivered an awful ball from a freekick, that forced him to race back and foul Theo Hernandez, willingly picking up a yellow card to stop the Frenchman’s run forward.

An action-packed couple of minutes around the hour mark brought life to an otherwise dull second half. A lapse of concentration from Theo saw him lazily play a ball across the Rossoneri’s back four that went straight to Quagliarella. Never one to need a second invitation to shoot, the 38-year-old perfectly executed a sublime first-time lob from 30 yards that left Donnarumma helplessly watching as it nestled in the back of his net.

Samp’s task was made more complicated than it needed to be within 90 seconds though, and Silva was made to pay for his earlier booking. A late challenge caught Samu Castillejo to earn the Portuguese his second booking of the game, leaving I Blucerchiati to battle on with ten men.

Milan mounted pressure on Samp as the second half wore on, and it eventually told. Jens Petter Hauge found himself in possession, and a rush of blood to Emil Audero’s head saw him leave his goal despite having players around the Norwegian. The 21-year-old kept his cool under pressure and gorgeously finished past the Samp ‘keeper.

From there, only one team looked likely to come out with three points. The hosts continued to press, and Franck Kessie came within inches of their second in stoppage time, only to see his effort come back off the post.

With the draw, Milan sit five points behind Inter in second place, leaving the Serie A leaders with two games in hand.