Legendary Serie A club, A.C. Milan won their season opener against Sampdoria in Genoa after the club's new No. 10, Brahim Diaz silenced Luigi Ferraris Stadium with his first goal of the season in just the 9th minute of the match. Milan's road dominance has carried over from the 20/21 season, where the Rossoneri were able to win 16 away games for a total of 48 points, leading them to the best away record in the league and setting a new Serie A league record in the process.
The Rossoneri earned their first 3 points of the 21/22 season under the leadership of newly crowned captain and right-back, Davide Calabria. Calabria, despite being just 24 years old, has been with the club since 2006, playing for the club's various levels of youth teams until he earned his chance to shine on the main stage. The announcement of Milan's new captain was seemingly welcomed with open arms by fans after it was announced that last year's captain, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, had completed his move to Paris Saint-Germain F.C. over the summer. Calabria earned the captain's patch out on the pitch with an assist from a quality through ball into the box that perfectly set up Diaz's early goal.
Another impressive performance worth mentioning was that of the newly added French goalkeeper, Mike Maignan, who was brought in by the club to replace the huge gap left by Donnarumma. Maignan nearly resembled a brick wall against Sampdoria than he did a human being, completing the game with a clean sheet that included three crucial saves that kept Sampdoria scoreless. He was also responsible for giving Calabria a beauty of a ball to make a run with and make the assist for Diaz's goal.
Milan looked very comfortable on the pitch for their first win in spite of playing their first game without a majority of big names they were so accustomed to playing with. Donnarumma and last year's key playmaker, Hakan Calhanoglu, left the club over the summer and left a void many fans were afraid the club couldn't fill. Familiar big names like Alessio Romagnoli, who began last season as the club's captain before Donnarumma took the patch, as well as midfielders Franck Yannick Kessie and Ismael Bennacer, were also missing from the starting lineup. Regardless, none of this stopped Milan from maintaining their identity from last season as players like Diaz, Calabria, Tonali, Giroud, Tomori, Kjaer, and Maignan all stepped up and played a great game.
After the referee blew the whistle for full-time, Milan celebrated out on the pitch in front of the visitor's section, where all the Milan supporters could be seen standing and wildly cheering for their team's first victory and clean sheet of the new season. Milan is a young squad that never fails to entertain under their manager, Stefano Pioli, as well as the leadership of club legend, Paolo Maldini, who serves as the club's technical director and has been crucial to building Milan's return to UEFA Champions League and the top of Serie A.
Milan's next match will be their home-opener at San Siro against Cagliari Calcio on 8/29 at 2:45 EST. American viewers, supporters and neutrals alike, can watch via the Paramount+ streaming app. Follow @milanistimadness on Instagram and @milanistimad on Twitter for fast news and updates.
Until then: Forza Milan. Sempre Milan.