Most fans of Serie A figured Milan would have a rough start to the season. Last year's runners-up put most of their old guard out to pasture over the summer. They also lost both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to PSG, and lost a top creator when exchanging Antonio Cassano for Giampaolo Pazzini.
Yet it's still Milan. By virtue of the name, you don't expect to see a total collapse. But that's almost exactly what happened in their first match of the season. A combination of poor passing, a lack of creativity, and a fragile defence combined to hand Sampdoria a 1-0 win at the San Siro.
'Doria, fresh from Serie B, seemed content with just a point, defending deeply to frustrate Milan (although the wasted rossoneri chances were also quite frustrating for the club). But when the home side handed Sampdoria a chance on a silver platter, well, they weren't going to turn it down, were they?
The only goal in the match came from a corner kick taken by Fernando Tissone. Andrea Costa rose up for the header, easily overcoming the Milan defence. Sixty minutes in, and Sampdoria were content to hunker down even more, determined to hang on to their lead.
The best chance for the home side also came from a corner, taken by Mattia De Sciglio. Mario Yepes got on the end of it, but Sergio Romero was right there to push away. Unfortunately for the Sampdoria keeper, he pushed it right into the post, but sharp reflexes allowed him to save himself from himself, smothering the ball and denying an equaliser.
Sampdoria felt the pressure in added time and held up admirably -- with the help of the post, which denied Kevin-Prince Boateng in the final minutes. Milan continued to gather in the area, taking it in turns to fire shots at the goal. It was a Mathieu Flamini shot, blocked by Romero, that finished off the rossoneri loss.
AC Milan: Christian Abbiati, Mattia De Sciglio, Daniele Bonera, Mario Yepes, Luca Antonini, Mathieu Flamini, Riccardo Montolivo, Antonio Nocerino , Kevin-Prince Boateng, (Giampaolo Pazzini 55), Robinho (Urby Emanuelson 59).
Sampdoria: Sergio Romero, Gaetano Berardi, Daniele Gastaldello, Jonathan Rossini, Andrea Costa , Pedro Obiang, Fernando Tissone, Andrea Poli, Marcelo Estigarribia , Eder (Roberto Soriano 76), Nenad Krstičić.