Milan held by Sampdoria in Ibrahimovic’s return

MILAN (AP) – Zlatan Ibrahimović’s comeback appearance added much-needed urgency but little else for AC Milan as they were held by Sampdoria to 0-0 in Serie A on Monday night.

The 38-year-old Ibrahimović, who helped Milan to their last Serie A title in 2011, has rejoined the club until the end of the season with an option for another year.

“Ibrahimovic’s impact was absolutely positive,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. “He immediately gave support.

“The team is still not used to this presence. At the end we could have looked for him more, his physical prowess gives us an extra solution.”

Around 60,000 fans flocked to San Siro for the return of Ibrahimović after nearly eight years, and there was a banner dedicated to him which read, “A new challenge to live together: welcome back Ibra.” However, another banner also recalled the embarrassment of AC Milan’s last match, their worst result in 21 years, as it simply read: “Atalanta-Milan 5-0.”

Milan failed to score for the third successive match.

Ibrahimović was sent on in the 55th minute for Krzysztof Piątek after Sampdoria started the second half very much on top.

The introduction of the Swede appeared to give Milan impetus, and Ibrahimović had a couple of chances early on but neither of his headers troubled Sampdoria goalkeeper Emil Audero.

Ibrahimović also set up a great chance for Suso in the 77th but the Spaniard fired wide of the left post prompting resounding jeers from the Milan fans.

AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic readies to attack the ball during the Serie A football match against Sampdoria at the San Siro Stadium in Milan. PHOTO: AP