Olivier Giroud was AC Milan’s main threat in attack on Matchday 36 of Serie A as they swatted an already-relegated Sampdoria aside to claim a comprehensive 5-1 win at the Stadio San Siro. The Frenchman netted a hat-trick on the night, with goals from Rafael Leao and Brahim Diaz also helping Milan to the points.
Although the Rossoneri had a comfortable lead for most of the game and the result was, for the majority of the evening, a foregone conclusion, it wasn’t quite always that way. Leao put the hosts ahead inside ten minutes and looked to set them on their way to an easy night’s work at the San Siro, but a momentary scare was to come.
Evergreen Quagliarella sparks Giroud into life
It was a night for veteran forwards, and that theme was evident even before Giroud started firing. Forty-year-old Fabio Quagliarella scored an equaliser for Samp not long after they had fallen behind, but their delight was short lived, as has been the case for the Serie B-bound Blucerchiati with any good feeling all season.
Giroud nodded in his first just three minutes after Quagliarella had levelled, and he had the chance to convert a penalty to give Milan a two-goal cushion before the half-hour mark. Then, there was no contest.
The one-way traffic continued after the break and Stefano Pioli’s Milan were the only side who looked like scoring and adding to the goal tally for the night. They did just that when Sandro Tonali selflessly set up Brahim Diaz for the hosts’ fourth just after the hour mark, and Giroud then completed his hat-trick moments later.
Milan slowed considerably after their fifth, perhaps showing mercy on their visitors. The officials shared that sentiment by the end as no stoppage time was added, allowing Samp to be put out of their misery and endure fewer painful minutes in this horrendous season.
The win leaves AC Milan fifth in the Serie A table, going three points above Atalanta again after La Dea’s win over Hellas Verona earlier in the day. With Lazio still to play on Matchday 36, the Rossoneri are a point behind the Aquile.