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Suso, Higuain on target as Milan get back to winning ways

AC Milan midfielder Suso (C) celebrates with Lucas Biglia (R) and Gonzalo Higuain (L) after hitting the winner in a 3-2 victory over Sampdoria. © AFP / MARCO BERTORELLO

ROME, Italy, Oct 28Gonzalo Higuain hit a crucial equaliser and Suso fired a second-half winner as AC Milan got back on track in Serie A with a 3-2 home win over Sampdoria Sunday.

Coach Gennaro Gattuso was under intense pressure after a last-gasp derby loss to Inter last week was compounded by a 2-1 defeat by Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday.

But the former Rangers and Milan midfielder has won respite, for the moment at least, after a fourth league win in nine outings left Milan fifth, albeit 13 points adrift of leaders and champions Juventus.

Milan looked to be under the cosh when Sampdoria took a 2-1 lead through Fabio Quagliarella on 31 minutes after Riccardo Saponara had levelled Patrick Cutrone’s 17th-minute opener for the San Siro giants.

But Higuain responded on 36 minutes and, amid a second half that saw few real chances, Spanish forward Suso provided an impressive winner.

After the pain of last week’s setbacks Milan’s fans were hoping for a turnaround and were given reason to cheer when Cutrone pounced on Suso’s cross on 17 minutes to head past Emil Audero.

But less than a quarter of an hour later, the San Siro was stunned into silence when Quagliarella first set up Saponara for a 21st-minute leveller before firing Marco Giampaolo’s visitors into the lead.

Argentina striker Higuain came to the rescue with a 36th-minute equaliser that followed a neat one-two with Cutrone and justified Gattuso’s decision to deploy a 4-4-2 formation.

A superb left-footed strike from Suso saw Milan back in front in the 62nd minute and it proved enough to secure all three points.

Later Sunday, Napoli look to maintain their challenge to Juventus when they host Roma, who sit ninth, at the Stadio San Paolo.

Juventus lead their southern rivals by seven points after securing a ninth league victory from 10 games on Saturday when Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice, once from the penalty spot, in a 2-1 win at Empoli.