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Serie A: Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace powers AC Milan to thumping 4-1 victory against Sampdoria

With a gap of more than four points over Napoli, AC Milan are all set to play in Europa League second qualifying round next season next season.

SNS | New Delhi |

Veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace to help AC Milan register a thumping 4-1 victory over Sampdoria in Serie A on Wednesday. Hakan Calhanoglu and Rafael Leao scored the other two goals to ensure Milan remain unbeaten since resumption of football following the COVID-19 hiatus.

The victory helped Rossoneri take their tally to 63 points and remain at the sixth spot in the table. With a gap of over four points over seventh-placed Napoli and only one match remaining, Milan are all set to play in Europa League second qualifying round next season next season. The automatic qualification spot has been taken by fifth-placed AS Roma.

Meanwhile, Milan went ahead at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium within four minutes of the first whistle. A cross by Ante Rebic from the left flank found the unmarked Ibrahimovic who headed the delivery past Sampdoria goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone.

However, the gloveman, who was making his Serie A debut, made a good save to deny Ibrahimovic at the fag end of the first half.

After the break, the first genuine attempt was created by Sampdoria but Gianluigi Donnarumma did well to restrict the free-kick from Fabio Quagliarella.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Calhanoglu extended the lead for the visitors in the 53rd minute with a goal which was initially disallowed by the on-field referee. Milan’s number 10 was at the heart of the matter again when he set up Ibrahimovic for the latter’s second five minutes after.

Donnarumma was in action again when Milan conceded a penalty. But the keeper stood rock solid under the sticks as he saved Gonzalo Maroni’s dead-ball attempt from the 12 yards spot. However, Sampdoria managed to restore some pride when Kristoffer Askildsen scored one in the 87th minute.

But it proved too little too late for the home team before the visitors added more salt to their wound. Leao netted the final goal of the match in the second minute of the stoppage time.

Donnarumma saved Gonzalo Maroni’s penalty and, although Kristoffer Askildsen pulled one back for Sampdoria, Rafael Leao then added a fourth for Milan.

AS Roma win

In another match of the day, AS Roma rallied to beat Torino 3-2 and earn an automatic qualification to next season’s Europa League. The home team had gone up in the 14the minute with a Alex Berengue strike.

But first-half goals from Edin Dzeko and Chris Smalling and a successful penalty from Amadou Diawara had put Roma 3-1 up in the 61st minute. Four minutes later, Wilfried Singo made the equation 3-2 but the touring team successfully held on to their one goal lead.