Bonaventura's tireless work pays dividends in Milan's win vs. Samp
AC Milan extended their unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions with a 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday. Giacomo Bonaventura scored the only goal of the game and it was enough to keep the Rossoneri's impressive run going as they continue to claw their way back into Champions League qualification contention.
Milan played some of their best football in weeks in this win. The hosts played with high intensity, hunger and sharpness while they're starting to look like a real team under Gennaro Gattuso as they fought for one another throughout.
Sampdoria had a great opportunity right at the end of the game, and it could have been costly. Having played so well for much of the game, Milan needed to find a second goal to put it to bed and that's something that they have to improve on.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- As mentioned above, Gattuso has his side playing like a team now. They were covering for each other all over the pitch and there is real understanding in their attacking play. That aside, Milan had constant joy switching play to the other flank, and it was surely more than a coincidence and rather tactical preparation.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 6 -- Didn't have a notable save to make, but he played his part in keeping things organised at the back. Perhaps still needs to work on his decision-making at times in claiming the ball in the box.
DF Davide Calabria, 7 -- Brilliant assist for Bonaventura's goal, and he looked solid defensively throughout. Continued to offer an option down the right flank and so he can be very pleased with his display.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, 7 -- The Milan captain continues to marshal his troops at the back, and he made some crucial interventions. However, he gets marked down slightly compared to his defensive partner as he was sloppy with his passing at times and it led to some dangerous moments.
DF Alessio Romagnoli, 8 -- Imperious yet again, as he was up to the physical challenge of Duvan Zapata and kept Fabio Quagliarella quiet too. Composed in possession, he continues to impress in all facets of the game.
DF Ricardo Rodriguez, 6 -- Missed a penalty, and did struggle at times defensively as he doesn't look quite as sharp as he needs to be. Difficult to be too critical of his attacking play, as he was often ignored despite making overlapping runs.
MF Riccardo Montolivo, 6 -- Not easy for him to come in and play after such a long period out of the team, but the veteran did a decent job. However, he simply doesn't have the legs to carry out such a role on a consistent basis, and so Franck Kessie's return next weekend will be a huge boost for Milan.
MF Lucas Biglia, 7 -- Another solid display from the midfield general, as he swept up in front of the defence and recovered possession on countless occasions while also getting Milan moving in the right direction. A quiet but key cog in Milan's success.
MF Giacomo Bonaventura, 7 -- Worked tirelessly off the ball, and got his reward with a brilliantly timed run into the box to meet Calabria's cross to sweep Milan to victory. It was a top performance after suffering a dip in recent outings.
FW Suso, 6 -- The Spaniard produced a decent display, as although he wasn't able to be decisive in the game, he had his moments of quality. From his excellent technical skill on the ball to his involvement in great build-up play, it was a good performance all round.
FW Patrick Cutrone, 6 -- Produced moments of quality off the ball with his clever runs and worked tirelessly yet again. However, he was missing the service and his usual predatory instinct to continue his scoring run.
FW Hakan Calhanoglu, 7 -- Defended with great intensity throughout, and was a constant menace for Sampdoria in the final third. Whether it was his creativity and vision on the left flank or the countless efforts to score, he continues to show confidence and full fitness is working wonders for him. Marked down for being slightly wasteful, as he will be disappointed not to have scored.
FW Andre Silva, NA -- The goals aren't coming for the Portuguese forward, but he showed the right approach and attitude off the bench. Pressed hard, showed quality touches to link play up and so he can happy with his short outing.
MF Manuel Locatelli, NA -- Introduced too late to have a telling impact on the game, as he looked to offer a pair of fresh legs to see out the win.
Sumeet Paul covers AC Milan for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @SP_Calcio.