Donnarumma error proves costly as AC Milan loses away at Sampdoria

Gianluigi Donnarumma's incredible early mistake allowed Sampdoria to defeat AC Milan 1-0 and close the gap to the top four.

Gregoire Defrel (92) scored a first-minute opener for Sampdoria after an error from Gianluigi Donnarumma.   -  Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

AC Milan suffered a second successive defeat as Sampdoria ignited the Champions League race in Serie A once more with a 1-0 home win gifted to it by Gianluigi Donnarumma's error.

The Rossoneri's 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions was ended before the international break as bitter rival Inter won at San Siro - and Gennaro Gattuso's men were beaten again on Saturday.A dreadful Donnarumma error handed Gregoire Defrel a first-minute opener and the visitor never recovered on a difficult evening in Genoa.

Milan remain fourth but, ahead of Sunday's fixtures, fifth-placed Roma is four points back and has played a game less, while Lazio - a further two points behind its city rival - has two matches in hand. Eighth-placed Sampdoria is six points behind Saturday's opponents.

Sampdoria led after just 33 seconds when Donnarumma's weak pass inexplicably teed up the onrushing Defrel for a first-time finish into a gaping goal from just outside the six-yard box.

The goalkeeper was more impressive as he turned Fabio Quagliarella's low drive around the post, however, before Emil Audero expertly parried Suso's curling effort away at the other end.

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Quagliarella, chasing his 22nd league goal of the season, saw a powerful strike deflected against the crossbar and Defrel shot straight at Donnarumma, but Samp was made to settle for a narrow victory

AC Milan's loss to Sampdoria has opened the door for others to pile on the pressure in the top-fopur race.   -  AP


What does it mean? Wide open again

Milan was just threatening to pull away from the pack in fourth place heading into the derby against Inter. Now, having shown their fallibility, and with a trip to Juventus to come, Gattuso's men have opened the door for others to pile on the pressure. Roma and Lazio are in the mix, but Sampdoria, with Quagliarella in form, should not be discounted.

Stealing the show

The focus was on the strikers ahead of this match, with Quagliarella and Piatek two of the form men in European football. But Defrel's hard running and instinctive finish just seconds into the contest saw him thrust into the spotlight. His performance could have been capped with a second goal as he twice went close.

Error sets the tone

Donnarumma's incredible error gave Sampdoria the lead inside the opening minute, but this was far from an isolated incident. Both the goalkeeper and the defenders in front of him repeatedly gave up openings due to sloppy play out from the back, with the personnel apparently ill-suited to Milan's elected approach.

Key Opta Facts

- Milan has lost two Serie A games in a row for the first time since December 2017.
- Gattuso's side has faced at least 14 shots in four of the last six league games (16 against Sampdoria).
- Milan has conceded at least once in each of the last four Serie A matches away from home, after it collected four clean sheets in the previous five away games.
- It has also won only one of its last 16 Serie A games after the internationals break (D5, L10).
- Sampdoria has won all the eight Serie A home games in 2018-19 in which it has taken the lead.


What's next?

Milan welcomes Udinese to San Siro on Tuesday, before Gattuso takes his side to Juventus next weekend for that crunch Serie A clash. Sampdoria goes to Torino in midweek and then hosts Roma.

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