The starting line up confirmed the absence of Bennacer and Kessie, the former available on the bench but not fully fit. Krunic’s start was met with dismay among some.
A probing start had Sampdoria threaten Milan’s goal but soon Milan took the lead. A low Calabria cutback found Diaz who diverted the ball in, Samp’s defenders and goalkeeper didn’t do well.
Maignan’s first attempt at playing the ball had him venture outside of the box but he was fouled and the open goal was spared. The French keeper had to punch a long range free kick out and then deal with close range shots.
Milan seemed to grow into the game and threatened too. Leao was having a good start and Diaz was at the heart of the attack.
The tempo and intensity of the half was above average and very good at times. The half time 1-0 lead was good value.
The second half started with no changes. Theo missed a dribble up the pitch and almost gave the ball away a few yards away from Maignan. He needed to step up. The intensity slowly waned off with both teams having a few half chances. Minutes later Calabria missed a long range shot after Giroud worked hard to keep and win the ball.
In the 69th minute Rebic replaced Leao and Bennacer somewhat surprisingly replaced Diaz. Florenzi made his Milan debut in replacing Saelemaekers in the 80th minute. The game had retained a good tempo but it as being played farther away from the goals and the subs helped lower it further. Giroud did miss at least two header chances and Sampdoria came close in the 87th minute.
Late in the game Romagnoli came on for Calabria in a case of captain being subbed off for a captain. Rebic had a late chance when the Sampdoria defenders gifted the ball to Milan. He missed by inches.
Three points were secured and Milan started with a win.