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AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud nets his first Serie A hat-trick in 5-1 win over Sampdoria

AC Milan centre-forward Olivier Giroud netted a hat-trick against Sampdoria in their Serie A clash at the San Siro today.

The Rossoneri needed the victory to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season alive.

They also wanted to bounce back from their recent defeat to rivals Inter Milan.

The Nerazzurri sent them packing from the Champions League semi-final, outclassing them across both legs.

Rafael Leao broke the deadlock in the ninth minute following a pass from Brahim Diaz.

The 23-year-old had received his Serie A Player of the Month award before the game and showed why.

However, Fabio Quagliarella netted to draw Sampdoria level. The Italian striker has now scored in 18 consecutive seasons.

Giroud put Milan back in front almost immediately. He climbed highest to turn in an inverted cross from Diaz.

The 36-year-old striker doubled his tally from the spot to give Milan a healthy 3-1 lead going into the half-time break.

In the second half, Diaz went from provider to scorer. He had an excellent game against the Genoa-based club.

Diaz was one of the most criticised players following the Champions League elimination, as he was poor across both legs. He had to redeem himself today, and he did it well.

Giroud netted his third goal to seal his hat-trick after 68 minutes, forcing in a cross from Leao to make the scoreline 5-1. The treble took the Frenchman’s league tally to 11 goals.

Giroud has netted 16 goals for Milan in all competitions and is their top scorer this season

Despite the win, Milan remain in fifth place in Seie A. They are one point behind Lazio, who have a game in hand.

They are two points behind Inter, who have played a game less than Milan.

Inter face Serie A champions Napoli at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium tomorrow, while Lazio travel to Udinese.

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