AC Milan – Atalanta Bergamo: Iličić-inspired Atalanta Crush Milan (0-3)
In the chaotic landscape that was the top of the Serie A table, this proved to be an enthralling and significant battle. AC Milan faced troubles in moving the ball forward despite some early promise. This led to few quality Milan chances as Atalanta, led by Iličić who offered constant creativity and threat, produced a consummate performance to put away league leaders Milan.
Tactical analysis and match report by Julian Chingoma.
Milan were three points clear of their nearest challengers at the top of Serie A. Their resilience has been on full display in recent weeks, having rattled off two consecutive wins after their only league loss this season. Milan have also been bolstering their squad with the acquisitions of Soualiho Meïté, Mario Mandžukić and Fikayo Tomori to further raise the mood around the club. Contrastingly, Atalanta have had their recent good form somewhat overshadowed by the imminent exit of Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gómez. They were looking to close the ten-point gap to Milan heading into this clash.
Stefano Pioli went with the usual 4-2-3-1 shape. Gianluigi Donnarumma was in goal and the backline was Davide Calabria, Simon Kjær, Pierre Kalulu and Theo Hernandez. The double pivot was Sandro Tonali and Franck Kessié. In support of Zlatan Ibrahimović was the trio of Samu Castillejo, Rafael Leão and Soualiho Meïté.
Gian Piero Gasperini had Atalanta in their familiar 3-4-1-2 formation. Pierluigi Gollini had Rafael Tolói, Cristian Romero and Berat Djimsiti ahead of him. The wing-backs were Hans Hateboer and Robin Gosens while the midfield consisted of Remo Freuler and Marten de Roon. In the attacking midfield role was Matteo . . .