A devastating defeat, the second of the season in Serie A and the third in all competitions in 2020/21. AC Milan lost at San Siro to Atalanta, who are fast becoming a bit of a bogey team, and ended the first half of the season with a defeat. It finished 3-0 to the guests, who scored through Romero, Iličić and Zapata. Unfortunately, it was far from a vintage AC Milan performance on a real off night for the Rossoneri. After the away side took the lead, AC Milan had the chance to equalise through Ibra but were punished after half-time by Iličić from the penalty spot and then Zapata. Among the few positive notes of the evening was the debut handed to Mandžukić, who came on in the 70th minute alongside a returning Rebić. In spite of this defeat, AC Milan remain in top spot on 43 points at the halfway stage of the season. There will be an immediate chance to recover; on Tuesday evening, AC Milan will play local rivals Inter in a Coppa Italia Derby. Time to keep our chins up.
THE GALLERY FROM AC MILAN V ATALANTA
The Rossoneri struggled to get going in the first half and were largely unable to match Atalanta's high tempo. Meïte had the first effort for the home team, heading wide from a corner. Then, however, the guests upped the ante; Hateboer twice caused a scare for Donnarumma and Iličić fired just wide in the 17th minute. Atalanta kept pushing and, in the 26th minute, took the lead; Gosens' cross was headed home by Romero. AC Milan tried to react immediately; Leão looked for Ibra at the back post but Djimsiti made a last-gasp interception to deny the Swede an opportunity. Parry and riposte: in the 39th minute, Donnarumma got his gloves to Iličić's free-kick before, in the 41st minute, Ibra got in behind Hateboer to meet Tonali's free-kick but couldn't turn it home, just wide.
The hosts doubled their lead just after the break. Kessie's outstretched arm struck Iličić and referee Mariani pointed straight to the penalty spot. The Slovene stepped up to take the spot-kick and beat Donnarumma, who guessed the right way but couldn't get a hand to it. The Rossoneri opened up to claw their way back into the game but were increasingly susceptible to the Dea's counter-attacks. In the 70th minute, Mandžukić and Rebić were sent into the fray and almost made an instant impact; confusion in the Atalanta penalty area, Romero took the ball away from Kessie just as he was lining up the shot but it fell nicely to Mandžukić, whose effort was saved by Gollini. Atalanta, who overcame that scare, got back on the front foot. In the 74th minute, Zapata hit the post after a corner and, two minutes later, scored Atalanta's third, finishing off a swift counter. AC Milan tried to push through Brahim, who went close first with his left - over the bar - and then with his right - post. Full time.
AC MILAN 0-3 ATALANTA
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Kalulu (58' Musacchio), Kjær, Hernández; Tonali, Kessie; Castillejo (70' Rebić), Meïte (46' Díaz), Leão (70' Mandžukić); Ibrahimović. Subs.: A. Donnarumma, Tătărușanu; Dalot, Tomori; Hauge, Krunić; Colombo, Maldini. Coach: Pioli.
ATALANTA (3-4-1-2): Gollini; Toloi, Romero, Djimsiti (91' Palomino); Hateboer (67' Mæhle), de Roon, Freuler, Gosens (91' Caldara); Pessina (91' Malinovskyi); Iličić (82' Muriel), Zapata. Subs.: Rossi, Sportiello; Depaoli, Ruggeri, Šutalo; Miranchuk; Lammers. Coach: Gasperini.
Referee: Mariani from Aprilia
Goals: 26' Romero (A), 53' Iličić (A), 77' Zapata (A)
Booked: 37' Hernández (M), 52' Kessie (M), 84' Gosens (A).
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