Eto'o scores first goal since return to Italy as Sampdoria beats Cagliari
ROME (AP) — Substitute Nico Lopez equalized in the fifth minute of added time as Hellas Verona drew 2-2 at AC Milan in Serie A on Saturday, piling pressure on coach Filippo Inzaghi.
Milan has won just two of its last 11 matches, and fans are starting to wonder how long owner Silvio Berlusconi will put up with Inzaghi, who is in his first year as a top-division manager.
"It's upsetting conceding a goal like that at the end. ... It's difficult to bounce back from that," Inzaghi said. "These are difficult days and nights but we've got to move forward."
Berlusconi appears to have other items on his agenda, however, amid reports that he met this week with Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol, who is interested in buying a share of Milan.
"We played poorly tonight but you can't say we didn't try," Inzaghi said. "We should have done better."
Jeremy Menez and Philippe Mexes scored for Milan after Luca Toni put Verona ahead with a penalty 17 minutes in. The Rossoneri were cruising toward a much-needed win until Lopez darted into the area past two defenders and found the target to silence the San Siro.
Milan remained in the middle of the table in 10th while Verona moved up to 13th.
In the day's only other match, Samuel Eto'o scored his first goal since returning to Italy as Sampdoria beat Cagliari 2-0 to stay in the hunt for a spot in Europe.
Samp moved into sixth place, one off the Europa League spots.
In Milan, Sulley Muntari fouled Artur Ionita at the edge of the area to set up the penalty for Toni — the fifth goal in five matches for the former Italy international.
In the 40th, a Milan set-piece drew a foul from Mexes on Bosko Jankovic, and Menez converted the ensuing penalty, making him a perfect six from six from the spot this season.
Six minutes later, Mexes scored from close range after collecting a header from Menez within the area and dribbling by a couple of defenders.
Milan was fortunate to keep the lead when a long shot from Panagiotis Tachtsidis hit the crossbar in the 73rd, and Verona coach Andrea Mandorlini was sent off for protesting in the final minutes before Lopez's equalizer.
Milan fans voiced their displeasure when Inzaghi removed forward Giampaolo Pazzini for defender Salvatore Bocchetti in the 77th, and the whistles only increased after Lopez's equalizer, when Bocchetti was beaten.
In Genoa, Eto'o doubled the lead in the second half with a delightful chest control, spin, and shot from a tight angle, after fullback Lorenzo De Silvestri opened the scoring with a header in the 33rd.
Cagliari was reduced to 10 men when Danilo Avelar picked up his second yellow card.
Eto'o joined Sampdoria in January from Everton and had a troubled start with the club, clashing with coach Sinisa Mihajlovic after refusing to take part in a training session a month ago.
All seemed forgiven, it seemed, when Mihajlovic greeted Eto'o with a hug when he exited in the final minutes.
"We cleared things up, and now as long as he does what I say we'll get along," Mihajlovic said. "He's earning his place and playing well."
Eto'o, who turns 34 on Monday, scored only four goals in 20 appearances for Everton before his transfer.
Before his goal, Eto'o drew some curious looks when he bent down and tied the boots of Cagliari goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic, so Brkic didn't have to take his gloves off.
Gianfranco Zola's Cagliari squad remained in the relegation zone, having gained only one point in its last six matches.
Sampdoria remained unbeaten at home with six wins and seven draws.