Atalanta Thrash Serie A Table-Toppers AC Milan To Climb Up The Points Table
AC Milan hosted Atalanta for their 19th fixture of the Serie A this season at the San Siro. The hosts headed into a huge Serie A clash on the back of some recent impressive form. As a result, their head coach Stefano Pioli made no changes for his side. Consequently, the new signings Mandzukic and Tomori were both on the bench. On the other hand, the Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini reshuffled his pack following two disappointing results in the league as they arrived in Milan for the vital match. Milan had won only once in their last 10 Serie A meetings against Atlanta. So, the match was going to be an interesting one amongst the Serie A fixtures, AC Milan were hungry for more points to secure their number one place whereas Atlanta was looking forward to climbing up the table.
Match Summary: Atlanta vs AC Milan:
The first half began as Milan kicked off and the match was very well in their favor as they dominated the early possession. Ibrahimovic squandered a huge chance but the linesman flagged the forward offside. Atalanta brought the ball forward for the first time in the match in the 7th minute but Ilicic’s attempt for a through ball to Zapata was cut out by Kjaer. Some moments later, Zapata attempted to find a teammate in the box but Milan cleared the danger immediately.
Atalanta nearly took the lead in the 18th minute of the game. Hateboer hit a wicked cross into the near post that nearly caught Donnarumma out but the goalkeeper managed to just punch the delivery away. Later on, in the 26th minute, Atlanta played another corner shot and the ball was finally delivered to the back post by Gosens. Kalulu thought he had the situation under control but Romero cleverly sneaked around the back and headed home from close range. Milan started well but Atalanta had outplayed them through large parts of the match so far. Consequently, the visitors took a well-deserved 1-0 lead into the halftime break.
The second half began as there was a change from the hosts at the break. Diaz was replacing Miete in the AC Milan midfield. In the 51st minute of the game, the referee booked Kessie for a foul that led to the penalty. Kessie elbowed Ilicic in the face and hence, the referee immediately pointed towards the spot. The Slovenian international stepped up and smashed home his penalty into the bottom right corner of the Milan goal. As a result, the score was 2-0 and Atalanta was now looking comfortable with that lead. They were causing a lot of trouble for AC Milan. Castillejo departed in the 70th minute and Mandzukic came on for his debut in the Milan career.
However, in the 77th minute, Atalanta tripled their lead with a scoreline of 3-0. The visitors gained possession in the midfield and outnumbered the hosts on the transition. Romero then slid a ball into Zapata and the forward made no mistake from close range. Atalanta structured in defense, progressed in midfield, and excited in the attack. Ilicic had been instrumental and Zapata had been a handful. AC Milan simply had no answers. Moreover, instead of holding the possession to waste some time in those closing stages, the visitors were going for a fourth. The pace of Muriel was posing some real problem for Kjaer and co. at the back for Milan.
In the injury time, AC Milan was pushing late for consolation but the visitors held firm. Mandzukic angled a strike towards the goal but Gollini saved with relatively little drama. With that, the second half ended as Atalanta had crushed AC Milan with a scoreline of 3-0. Consequently, the visitors moved up the points table with 3 points from this victory. Anyhow, both the teams will now be getting ready for their upcoming matches. Next up for AC Milan is a meeting with their fierce rivals Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Tuesday evening whereas Atalanta will be playing host to Lazio in the same competition on Wednesday.