Milan: Cameroonian Samuel Eto`o struck with a half-volley to score his first Serie A goal in nearly four years as hosts Sampdoria ran out 2-0 winners over 10-man Cagliari on Saturday.
Eto`o, who joined the Genoa-based side in January, had failed to score in five previous league appearances.
But a week after coach Sinisa Mihajlovic ordered the three-time African player of the year to stop making so many sacrifices, Eto`o repaid his first start for the club with an impressive second-half strike to wrap up Sampdoria`s 10th win of the campaign.
It was Eto`s first goal in Serie A since the 2010-2011 season when he hit 21 league goals for then defending Serie A champions and Champions League holders Inter Milan.
Sampdoria had been held to 1-1 draws in their past three home games by Palermo, Sassuolo and Genoa, but at the tail end of a balanced first half Lorenzo De Silvestri fired a bullet header past Zeljko Brkic after outmuscling his marker to meet a corner from the right.
Eto`o threatened in the second half when he drilled a shot just wide of the upright but made no mistake when he collected a pass from the right flank to smash a half-volley past Brkic and into the top corner of the net.
Cagliari finished the match a man down after Danilo Avelar was cautioned for a second time for a foul on Eder. Gianfranco Zola`s side remain third from bottom of the table only a point above Cesena with Parma nine points further adrift.
Milan host Verona in Saturday`s late game while leaders Juventus, who hold a nine-point lead over Roma, are not in action until Monday at home to Sassuolo.