AC Milan 1-1 Atalanta: Leao screamer not enough to earn three points

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan were held to a 1-1 draw by Atalanta at San Siro on Sunday night, letting a lead slip and conceding yet another penalty.

The game could hardly have started better for Milan when Rafael Leao fired them into the lead inside the opening few minutes with an excellent whipped shot.

However, Atalanta pegged the Rossoneri back from the penalty spot as Olivier Giroud was penalised after a VAR check for a high boot inside the box, and Teun Koopmeiners scored his third goal of the season against Milan.

A goalless second half followed, meaning that the Diavolo were forced to settle for a point against La Dea which keeps them seven points behind in the table.

Stefano Pioli made four changes to the starting line-up from the defeat against Rennes in midweek as Malick Thiaw, Yacine Adli, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Olivier Giroud all coming into the side.

It took Milan just three minutes to open the scoring, as Rafael Leao’s Serie A goal drought finally came to an end. A darting run in off the left saw him get past Scalvini and Holm, then he opened up his body and whipped a beautiful shot inside the far post with Carnesecchi rooted.

Milan continued to press high and cause problems for the away side, and when a corner from the right was cleared to the edge of the box Theo Hernandez might have hoped to do better than firing over the bar.

Gasperini’s men went in search of an equaliser, and Djimsiti’s near post flick from a corner was not far from finding the bottom corner but thankfully went about a yard wide.

Atalanta had a chance to get themselves back level when De Ketelaere stole possession from Pulisic and he dribbled back towards goal and then squared for Koopmeiners, but Yacine Adli recovered and made an excellent challenge to stop the shot threatening goal.

In the 41st minute, Atalanta were given the opportunity to equalise from the spot after VAR called the referee over to check a potential high boot from Olivier Giroud on Koopmeiners. The call seemed harsh, but the Dutch midfielder dusted himself down and converted down the middle of the goal from 12 yards.

The opening exchanges of the second half were scrappy, with both sides working the ball into wide areas well but ultimately failing to provide deliveries with much quality.

A few minutes before the hour mark, Pioli made his first change as Alessandro Florenzi was withdraw in place of Calabria.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek had a quiet 60 minutes prior, but he worked a chance for himself to shoot just inside the edge of the area though his low shot was easily gathered by Carnesecchi.

Milan had a big chance to get themselves back in the lead after a lovely move from left to right that saw the ball worked to Calabria who was in space, yet he opted to cut inside on his left foot rather than take it first time on his right and the shot was thwarted.

Christian Pulisic was inches away from scoring what would have been a splendid goal after a lovely angled ball in behind which he brought down with his thigh and stabbed just wide of the far post.

Carnesecchi was called into action by Loftus-Cheek again with 14 minutes left on the clock, and this time it was a much more difficult attempt to deal with as his fierce attempt was rising sharply, but he just about parried it away.

The balls in behind the outside centre-backs continued to cause issues for Atalanta, and it was Leao who got on the end of one and poked an effort at Carnesecchi which squirmed past him, then Giroud’s rebound effort was headed off the line. Replays did show Leao might have been a yard offside.

Pioli made a change in midfield inside the final 15 minutes, with Yunus Musah coming on for Bennacer. In the final minutes, Noah Okafor replaced Pulisic.


Tags AC Milan Milan Atalanta


  1. Management must be furious with Pioli. You can’t treat Okafor and Chukwueze like this and expect them to stay. They spent good money on these guy because they wanted players who were good in 1v1s.

    You can’t give them one start every 2 months, take them off at HT then give them 5 mins a week, they will never develop form and confidence that way. We’ve seen it with CDK & Paqueta and we’ll see it again.

    1. From what chukuweze has displayed so far (including AFCON), he is no where close to pulisic in terms of 1 Vs 1 and dribbling and doesn’t deserve to be here.
      Bring back saelermaekers to deputize pulisic.
      Cut the loss on chukweze (sell him) and invest in a ball-winning/ ball-playing DM.

    2. We should do with chuk like with De Ketelaere. Loan him to a team where he can excel. Something like Bologna for example. He would fit there. His level is not good enough for Milan. I don’t blame Pioli for not using him. He shouldn’t have been bought in the first place. He came in like he was some kind of superstar and a national team star. But in AFCON he barely got to play. He’s just not good enough.

      1. I agree Chuk hasn’t shown much so far, I’m higher on Okafor. But I do think he’s a confidence player and firmly believe we’d had seen something from him if he’d had a good run of games at any point in the season. Osimhen loved playing with him but his form obviously dropped since being benched for Nigeria.

        I’m not saying drop Pulisic, you could try playing him at 10 or even up front, just experiment a little. Giroud and RLC should have some competition & a front 2 of Pulisic & Okafor would give the team a completely different identity.

    1. Team did plenty enough to win, didn’t give Atalanta a sniff all game. The referee decided otherwise. Honestly, can anyone think of a time Atalanta threatened? Still not good enough to not convert a chance in the second half but as a result it’s mildly disappointing, performance was good.

      1. F*ck Orsato, i hate him. He is either Juventus or inter fan, every Milan game he referees ends in either red card or a disaster.

        I have lost count bow.

  2. You cannot say Milan defended well versus a team that deliberately gave the ball away to Milan. In this situation, you will have to assess how well Milan attacked with the ball. Atalanta never wanted to have the ball for anything, why would you comment on how well we defended lol

  3. Yes this is big problem. Milan does have stronger team season. But, can’t make difference in defensive part of play, and also score from other positions when left side is more powerful in the game. Like this one. Ruben, Pulisic, Giroud, couldn’t make crucial difference and support left side.
    I guessed that Theo and Leao will be more important, also I pointed to Giroud, but Frenchman lost any connection.
    My thinking is that Reijnders and Musah should enter around 70th minutes.
    Adli was superb, but team needed more fresh. Okafor was pointless, maybe it was better to play Chukwueze in last 15 minutes.
    Still big work is need for Milan. First Lazio.

  4. Let’s be realistic a bit.
    This is our level now. Atalanta.
    There is no quality to challenge Scudetto.
    Thanks for Pioli for his amazing service and bringing us back that long waited Scudetto…

    But we achieved maximum we can achieve with him.
    We need fresh blood with different coach from the next season. No hate on him though.

    We need a coach who can push the board to sign quality players over gamble signings.

    One decent CB, DM, MF and CF are needed in order to challenge Inter

    1. Are you blind or can’t see that Milan is way above Atalanta?

      Whats wrong with you, like seriously

      Most of you don’t even watch matches

    2. I disagree with your comparison. But the rest of your take is sensible.

      We don’t need a coaching upgrade in the summer. But the signings will depend more on the project than coach’ request.

    3. I think this is an appropriate level for this team though, I don’t expect another coach would come in and magically that gap to a peaking Inter team would disappear. We played a good game tonight and we’re still in a decent place in the league (should be a bot more comfortably above fifth after tonight, but the referees weren’t having it).

      Our squad is younger, cheaper and newer than Inter’s, a Conte or a Motta or a de Zerbi won’t fix that, only Inter falling away a bit will do.

      We’re well above everyone else in the league apart from Juve and even they’re doing it with zero European commitments.

  5. If this game is at a point where that deserves a penalty, the rules have gone too far. Atalanta did not deserve that penalty, nor was it influencing anything that the rule is there for in the first place. Referee was all over the place. Clear free kicks were not. Slight free kicks were. Penalties that were not, were. 2/10 Ref as they earned Atalanta 1 point when Refs should be doing nothing to give points like that.

  6. How many runs must pulisic make before someone passes him the ball? Leao is so selfish. Going for a golaso that comes off 1 out of every 80 attempts isn’t sustainable.

  7. I like how people here seem to think the penalty was fair and just go straight to complaining about Milan again instead of being angry at the dumb officials, like are you even a fan at this point?

      1. FFS, Scalvini made two yellow-card-worthy fouls inside one minute. Then fouled two times more in the following 5 minutes. And still no card. Insane.

    1. At this stage we should be able to kill games with goals. Have a contingency plan in case the officials are not having a good game atleast you score goals of 3+ or so.

      We should have had a penalty ourselves but wasn’t given for a handball which looked similar to the one we conceded on Thursday.
      We can’t really change the ref outcome but we can try to control our outcome but maybe fatigue was the problem today

  8. This game should have been killed and buried in the first 30 mins.
    We were supposed to have gone past Juve by now, but we’re stuck in thick sand looking over our shoulders

  9. I don’t know if we were just that good or Atalanta were just that poor. I liked how we played and dominated but I hate to think that we can only be this way when the opponents are having an off day. Was nice watching Adli though and Leao was enjoyable to watch too. Great game anyway but how do you hold your face when the boot barely even touched you? I wish they’d introduce a rule in football which penalises a player for feigning to have been kicked in the face or on any part of the body after the incident has been reviewed in the replay. It’s sad to see grown-ups lying like little kids. Well the end justifies the means I guess.

    1. 1 match suspensions for diving & being dramaqueens based on video-checks after the match. That would stop the constant ballet dancing that is ruining football.

  10. Swallowed my comment.

    Great display by Milan. Controlled Atalanta through and through. I think they barely saw the ball and didn’t do much even when Lookman came on.

    So came down to missed chances up front and a very soft PK call.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.