Niang the man as Milan crush sorry Samp

M'Baye Niang put the nightmare of the Paris terror attacks firmly behind him with a brace and an assist as AC Milan crushed Sampdoria 4-1 at the San Siro.

AC Milan's Mbaye Niang scores on a penalty kick during the Serie A soccer match against Sampdoria at the San Siro stadium.   -  AP

M'Baye Niang put the nightmare of the Paris terror attacks firmly behind him with a brace and an assist as AC Milan crushed Sampdoria 4-1 at the San Siro on Saturday.

Niang admitted last week that the events of the past fortnight had left him worried for the safety of his family and friends in and around the French capital. But the 20-year-old from the Paris suburbs produced a confident performance for the Rossoneri, first delivering for Giacomo Bonaventura's opener on 16 minutes and then beating Emiliano Viviano from the spot after the Milan winger had been hauled down in the area seven minutes before the interval.

Niang secured Milan's seventh win of the campaign when he fired under Viviano four minutes after the restart after the 'keeper's fluffed clearance. He was replaced by Luiz Adriano 15 minutes before the whistle and it took the Brazilian just four minutes to find the net after volleying Alessio Cerci's intelligent cross past Viviano.

The only blot on Milan's copy was Gianluigi Donnarumma's failure to stop Luis Muriel from the spot after Andrea Pioli had tugged Eder in the area in the closing minutes.

Milan moved up to fifth place, seven points behind leaders Inter ahead of the remainder of the weekend matches, with Sampdoria's second successive defeat under new coach Vincenzo Montella leaving them 14 points adrift.

For the fifth consecutive match Sinisa Mihajlovic opted for teenage goalkeeper Donnarumma over the more experienced Diego Lopez but the 16-year-old had to dive low to parry after his messy clearance fell to Roberto Soriano 30 yards out in the opening minute. From then on, it was all Milan with Niang the main protagonist till he made way for Adriano on 74 minutes.

Milan had the ball in the net on eight minutes after Alessio Cerci blasted the rebound from Bacca's strike into the roof of the net, but it was immediately ruled offside. The Italian winger then almost turned provider moments later but Bonaventura failed to make contact when he came sliding in to meet the in-swinger at the back post.

Milan finally broke the deadlock on 16 minutes with Cerci again involved before Niang burst down the right to fire in a weighted delivery that Bonaventura slid in to meet at the back post. The Rossoneri built on their momentum and Niang almost doubled the lead when he collected Juraj Kucka's short delivery on the right. But the French forward only managed to drag his angled shot inches wide of Viviano's far post.

Sampdoria were struggling to find any rhythm and Milan's movement in the final third of the pitch was causing huge problems for the visitors. Niang left Edgar Barreto in his trail when he burst down the right and fired across the bows, but Bonaventura's first-timer from the six-yard line blasted over.

Samp's only real chance came when Luis Muriel dribbled his way into the area but despite beating Milan's defence his promising strike was blocked by Alessio Romagnoli. Niang came close twice with flicks that inched wide of Viviano's post just after the restart.

When the 'keeper fluffed a clearance, Niang collected and strode confidently into the area to fire under his body to secure the second brace of his Serie A career, after hitting a double for Genoa against Verona last season.

A tiring Niang soon made way for Adriano and only four minutes later Cerci was given time and space to the right of the area to pick out the Brazilian with a pinpoint pass which he controlled before firing past a helpless Viviano.

Earlier, Torino moved up to eighth place with a 2-0 home win over Bologna thanks to second-half goals from Andrea Belotti and Giuseppe Vives.

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