September 24, 2017 / 1:18 PM / 23 days ago

Dismal Milan lose at Sampdoria despite VAR reprieve

Soccer Football - Serie A - Inter Milan vs Genoa - San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy - September 24, 2017 Inter Milan's Danilo D'Ambrosio scores their first goal REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

MILAN (Reuters) - Sampdoria, deprived of an early penalty when the referee changed his mind after consulting the VAR, scored twice in the final 20 minutes to comprehensively defeat a dismal AC Milan 2-0 in Serie A on Sunday.

Danilo D‘Ambrosio headed an 87th-minute goal as Inter Milan snatched a 1-0 win over Genoa, who lost their heads and had two players sent off, while Ciro Immobile continued his prolific run with another brace in Lazio’s 3-0 win at struggling Verona.

Crotone won their first game of the season by beating Serie A newcomers Benevento who slumped to their sixth straight defeat. Rolando Mandragora and Marcus Rohden scored in a 2-0 win for last season’s escape artists.

Inter have won five of their six games and are third with 16 points, two behind Juventus and Napoli who both have a maximum 18 points after winning on Saturday.

Big-spending Milan, likely to face heavy criticism after a second successive away defeat, were quickly in trouble when Ivan Strinic’s cross struck Franck Kessie’s arm and the referee awarded a penalty to Samp in the third minute.

However, after consulting the video assistant (VAR), he decided that the Ivorian’s handball was unintentional and awarded Sampdoria a corner instead.

Soccer Football - Serie A - Inter Milan vs Genoa - San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy - September 24, 2017 Inter Milan's Danilo D'Ambrosio celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Milan, sixth with 12 points, failed to capitalise on that reprieve, producing a thoroughly lacklustre display as they repeatedly gave away the ball in midfield.

Sampdoria, on 11 points and still unbeaten after five games, deservedly went ahead when Colombian Duvan Zapata pounced on a mistake by his cousin Cristian Zapata to score with an emphatic shot from close range in the 72nd minute.

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Ricky Alvarez, brought on in the 90th minute, added the second goal almost immediately when he was sent clear and placed a low shot inside the far post from the edge of the area.

“It was not a good performance from any aspect,” said Milan coach Vincenzo Montella. “We have to work more and understand why we failed like this.”

Inter were heading for a goalless draw against winless Genoa at San Siro until D‘Ambrosio scored with a far-post header from Joao Mario’s corner three minutes from time.

It was extremely harsh on Genoa whose frustration boiled over as Stephane Omeonga was sent off in stoppage time for pushing Eder when he had a clear run on goal and Abel Taarabt followed for a wild lunge on Yann Karamoh.

Immobile took his tally to eight goals in six games after converting a penalty and then scoring following a one-two with Adam Marusic to give Lazio a 2-0 halftime lead at Verona, who like Genoa have two points. Marusic added a third on the hour to leave Lazio fourth.

Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Clare Fallon

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