AC Milan beat Sampdoria 2-1 in the Serie A on Saturday, with Junior Messias and Olivier Giroud wrapping up a vital three points for the Rossoneri.

AC Milan will have been desperate to get back to winning ways after being held to a 1-1 draw by Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League earlier in the week. And Stefano Pioli will be relatively pleased with the performance of his players here.

The visitors took the lead six minutes into the game through Junior Messias, but Sampdoria battled hard and got back into the contest with a goal from Filip Djuricic early on in the second half. However, Olivier Giroud’s penalty sealed a vital away win for the defending champions.

AC Milan are now level on points with Napoli at the top of the table, having picked up 14 points from six league matches. Sampdoria finished the game with ten men after Mehdi Leris was sent off following a second yellow late on in the game.

The home side will feel that they could have taken something from the game on another day, and it remains to be seen whether they can bounce back strongly in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Milan ended the game with ten men as well, with Rafael Leao sent off in the 47th minute. Here at The Hard Tackle, we look at how the AC Milan players fared during their 2-1 win over Sampdoria.

Mike Maignan: 6/10

The AC Milan goalkeeper had a reasonably impressive outing, and he made a couple of crucial saves to keep his side in the game in the second half. Maignan could not have done more to stop the goal from Filip Djuricic as it was a close-range header.

Davide Calabria: 7/10

The AC Milan captain put on a reliable performance at the back and marshalled the backline well throughout the game. Calabria has become AC Milan’s club captain since Alessio Romagnoli’s departure, and he certainly produced a leader’s display at the back.

Simon Kjaer: 5/10

The Danish international was not at his best against Sampdoria, and he was responsible for the goal AC Milan conceded in the second half. Kjaer was out of position, and Djuricic made the most of his mistake to bring the home side back into the contest.

Pierre Kalulu: 6/10

The young defender had a mixed outing at the back. Despite showing some impressive defending, Kalulu managed to give the ball away multiple times with his wayward passing, and it could have cost his side dearly.

Theo Hernandez: 7/10

The French full-back had an impressive game on the night. Hernandez has looked solid at the back, and he did well to provide an attacking outlet to his side going forward.

Sandro Tonali: 8/10

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The AC Milan defensive midfielder was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch, and he helped the visitors dominate the proceedings. Tonali did well to break up the play and recycle possession. He did well to shield his defenders as well.

Tommaso Pobega: 7/10

The youngster did well to support his midfield partner Sandro Tonali, and he worked hard defensively and helped Milan control the midfield.

Junior Messias: 7/10

The Brazilian handed AC Milan a dream start with an opening goal within six minutes, and the strike will give him a much-needed confidence boost for the upcoming matches. Messias is currently winning his battle for the right-wing berth against Alexis Saelemaekers.

Charles De Ketelaere: 6.5/10

The AC Milan midfielder had a reasonably effective outing, and he played a key role in the opening goal of the game. Apart from that, the Belgian international put on a tidy display and helped create chances for his teammates.

Rafael Leao: 5/10

The Portuguese international will be disappointed with this outing on the night. Leao did well to create the opening goal for Messias, but he was unfortunate to be sent off after picking up two yellow cards.

Olivier Giroud: 8/10

The French international forward scored the match-winner from the penalty spot after winning the spot-kick himself. Furthermore, Giroud worked hard throughout the game and held up the ball well against a well-organised Sampdoria defence.

SUBSTITUTES

Fikayo Tomori: 6.5/10

The former Chelsea man was brought on by Stefano Pioli to shore up the AC Milan deference, and he did exactly that. Milan switched to a back five after his arrival, and Tomori did well to produce a few important tackles and interceptions to contain the hosts.

Ismael Bennacer: 6/10

The midfielder was brought down to add some much-needed control at the middle of the park and Bennacer certainly justified the substitution by calming things down in the middle and controlling the ball.

Aster Vranckx: N/A

The youngster was handed his AC Milan debut against Sampdoria, but he barely managed to have any impact on the game.

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