AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri took plenty of positives from his side’s 2-1 Coppa Italia victory at Sampdoria on Wednesday.
Not only do Milan advance to the semi-finals following the hard-fought win, but Allegri was also able to throw first-up starts to two new signings in Mark van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson.
Van Bommel joined Milan on a six-month contract from Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich in the January transfer window, and Emanuelson moved to the San Siro from Dutch giants Ajax.
Both showed plenty of promise on in their debuts in the red and black shirts of Milan, though van Bommel struggled with Milan’s structure in the second half.
“It wasn’t easy to win here,” Allegri said.
“The guys have done a good job and deserved to be qualified in the Coppa Italia since we really value this competition. Therefore I’m very satisfied by their performance.”
“It wasn’t easy since we had two new players and also guys who had played less. This proves that the group has a good understanding and wants to achieve important results.”
“(Van Bommel) is a great player and will soon be integrated within the team, just like Emanuelson. They have played a good match, despite the fact that this was their first day with the teammates.”
Allegri also brushed off an angry reception given to former Sampdoria star Antonio Cassano, who came on for Robinho in the 78th minute.
“I think that these boos may represent more love and not hate for Cassano, since he has given lots to Sampdoria and Sampdoria has given him lots,” he said.
“They have given him the chance to play in one of the most important teams in the world. This has happened thanks to Sampdoria.”
Sampdoria coach Domenico di Carlo said first-half errors cost his side a place in the semi-finals, with both of Alexandre Pato’s goals attributable to mistakes in Sampdoria’s back half.
“We paid the price with two errors today at the start of the match with Milan,” di Carlo said.
“Then in the second half we got better on the pitch trying to be more aggressive. I’m happy despite losing because of our performance in the second half.”