Suso hit a terrific deciding goal as AC Milan eased the growing pressure on Gennaro Gattuso with a riotously entertaining 3-2 home win against Sampdoria in Serie A.
Milan led through Patrick Cutrone but Samp rapidly hit back with Riccardo Saponara and Fabio Quagliarella recording a goal and an assist apiece before Gonzalo Higuain levelled the scores.
Suso came up with a second-half winner, though, as Milan bounced back from successive defeats, to rivals Inter in Serie A and Real Betis in the Europa League, in their last two games.
Gattuso’s side are still yet to keep a clean sheet in the league but victory lifts the Rossoneri up to fifth in the Serie A table, three points outside the Champions League places.
15 – AC Milan have conceded at least one goal in 15 Serie A games in a row for the first time since 1946. SOS. #MilanSamp
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) October 28, 2018
Milan took the lead in the 17th minute, Cutrone producing a towering header at the back post from a right-wing Suso cross.
But 14 minutes later they were behind, Quagliarella feeding Saponara to drill a fine finish into Gianluigi Donnarumma’s bottom right corner.
Saponara then turned provider against his old club, floating a perfect cross into the box for Quagliarella to sweep a volleyed finish past Donnarumma.
The goals continued to flow and Milan equalised in the 36th minute, Higuain swapping passes with strike partner Cutrone and smashing in a blasted finish.
Emil Audero denied Higuain after the restart as Milan tried to get back ahead, the goalkeeper then making a fine save low to his left to keep out a Suso drive.
But the goalkeeper could do nothing about Suso’s brilliant strike in the 62nd minute, the Spain international cutting in off the right flank to whip a beautiful shot across Audero.
Cutrone saw a fourth goal disallowed for a foul on Lorenzo Tonelli and Diego Laxalt hit the post late on, but Davide Calabria limped off in the closing stages to give Gattuso another headache.
What does it mean? Gattuso grateful to Suso
Gattuso has been under pressure all season but he faced more questions about his future before this game, claiming Milan were “not dead” despite their successive defeats. Suso’s strike might just keep speculation about Gattuso out of the headlines – for a few days at least.
Saponara shows Milan what they are missing
A goal and an assist was a terrific return for Saponara, who failed to make the grade during his short time at Milan. His first strike of the season got Samp level before a gorgeous assist for striker Quagliarella nudged the visitors in front. He did not deserve to be on the losing side.
Donnarumma at fault again
Last weekend’s loss to Inter in the Milan derby was partly down to Donnarumma, who misjudged a perfect Matias Vecino cross to allow Mauro Icardi to head in a late winner. And the goalkeeper arguably should have done better for both Samp goals, with Donnarumma seemingly slow to react to Saponara’s strike and out of position for Quagliarella’s goal.
Three goals and three points! COME ON!
3 gol, 3 punti! DAI RAGAZZI!#MilanSampdoria 3-2 pic.twitter.com/SNrGYujAlK
— AC Milan (@acmilan) October 28, 2018
Milan will hope to build momentum at home again on Wednesday in Serie A – hosting Genoa – before travelling to Udinese four days later. Samp welcome Torino in a week’s time.