M’Baye Niang and Carlos Bacca fired AC Milan into the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia at the expense of Sampdoria by finding the net in Thursday’s 2-0 win at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Niang found the net early in the second half with a cool finish after being set up by Bacca, before the Colombia international added a second well into stoppage time.
Vincenzo Montella’s Sampdoria were the more dangerous side of the two before the break, but failed to really trouble Christian Abbiati.
The first big chance of the game fell to Niang after the interval and the former Caen starlet showed his class with a fine finish.
Sampdoria were unable to really threaten in the remainder of the game, with Ervin Zukanovic’s dismissal for dissent not helping their cause, and Bacca eventually put the match to bed in the 94th minute after being set up by Keisuke Honda.
Milan will now face Carpi in the final eight.
Sampdoria got a good chance to open the scoring after just four minutes when the referee awarded them a free-kick in a dangerous position, but Zukanovic only hit the wall from 20 yards out.
The away side looked dangerous twice within the space of just two minutes midway through the first half.
Giacomo Bonaventura was denied by Emiliano Viviano after a good individual action down the left, while Niang saw his opportunistic volley from inside the area sail wide at the far post.
The hosts caused Milan all kinds of trouble on the counter-attack in the closing stages of the first half, but Luis Muriel’s left-footed shot from the edge of the area lacked the power to trouble Abbiati.
Carlos Carbonero was next to try his luck after cutting inside onto his right foot, but the Colombian’s attempt went harmlessly wide.
Milan started the second half in fine fashion and broke the deadlock in the 50th minute via Niang.
Bacca opened up the Sampdoria defence with a mazy dribble through the middle before setting up the Frenchman with a clever through ball and Niang coolly slotted home to make it 1-0.
Sampdoria were dealt another major blow around the hour-mark when Zukanovic received his marching orders.
The full-back reacted furiously after going into the referee’s book for a light foul and Domenico Celi responded by showing him a second yellow card for his verbal outburst right away.
Bonaventura could have put the match to bed in the 70th minute after a sublime cross from the right from Niang, but the attacking midfielder mistimed his header and the chance went begging.
Substitute Antonio Cassano tested Abbiati with a low show shot at the near post just minutes after coming off the bench, but the Milan goalkeeper comfortably gathered.
Bacca eventually ended Sampdoria’s dream of getting back into it with a sublime finish in the dying seconds of the game after an assist from Honda.