Brahim Diaz scored the only goal as Milan launched their Serie A season with a 1-0 victory over Sampdoria.
The Real Madrid loanee netted what proved to be the winner after just nine minutes at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium; Emil Audero unable to keep out his first-time strike from Davide Calabria’s cutback.
Runners-up to rivals Inter last term, it was the ideal start for the Rossoneri, who recorded maximum points in a season-opening away game for only the second time in six attempts.
As for the hosts, who began life under new head coach Roberto D’Aversa, they have now opened each of their last four campaigns with defeat – doing so for the first time in their history.
Signed from Ligue 1 champions Lille as a replacement for Gianluigi Donnarumma, Mike Maignan made his competitive debut between the sticks for the Rossoneri and he played a key part as they opened the scoring in the ninth minute.
Calabria latched onto his long kick before cutting the ball back for Diaz, whose first-time shot squirmed under the body of Audero.
Both sides went close before half-time. Maignan tipped Manolo Gabbiadini’s free-kick onto the crossbar, while Rade Krunic hit the side netting from eight yards out.
Opportunities did not fall too freely after the break.
Gabbiadini drew a save out of Maignan at his near post, but that was as close as Sampdoria came to denying Milan a sixth straight clean sheet in Serie A.
The visitors almost grabbed a second deep into stoppage time as substitute Ante Rebic shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area.
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