Milan stroll past Samp
AC Milan extended their lead at the top of Serie A and pushed Sampdoria closer to relegation with a comfortable win at the San Siro. Clarence Seedorf put the home side in front after 20 minutes and Antonio Cassano doubled their lead from the penalty spot ten minutes into the second half.
Robinho wrapped up the win for the Rossoneri six minutes later to move them six points clear of Napoli, who host Udinese tomorrow, and eight ahead of third-placed Inter Milan, beaten at Parma tonight. Sampdoria face the prospect of slipping into the bottom three tomorrow.
It was clear from the early exchanges that Sampdoria were going to camp in their own half of the field and try to defend for a point. Milan set about trying to break them down immediately, but struggled to find a way through, despite their domination of possession.
Oddly, though, the first big chance of the game fell to Sampdoria striker Nicola Pozzi, who shot just over the crossbar on one of the Blucerchiati's rare breaks. Milan were forced into a change in the 19th minute when Christian Abbiati left the field injured to be replaced by former Genoa goalkeeper Marco Amelia.
Within a minute, Milan went ahead. Seedorf decided to take matters into his own hands with a free-kick from over 25 yards out which he curled low, around the wall and into the bottom corner.
The Rossoneri continued to commit men forward, looking for a second goal to put the result beyond doubt, but they were running out of options from the bench with Alexandre Pato the next man to go off injured five minutes before the interval. He was replaced by former Samp striker Cassano, who left the Genoa club under a storm cloud in January.
And he was instrumental in finishing off the Blucerchiati in the second half, starting with a penalty in the 55th minute. Massimo Volta was adjudged to have intentionally handled the ball inside the area and the referee pointed to the spot, giving Cassano the chance to score against his former club, and he took it, leaving Gianluca Curci with no chance.
Cassano then set up Robinho for the third, crossing for the Brazilian to head in after exchanging passes with Seedorf. Cassano could have wrapped the win up in style in the last minute, but he shot over the bar with only Curci to beat.