Atalanta 5-0 Milan: Ilicic at the double as Rossoneri suffer Bergamo woe

By Sports Desk December 22, 2019

Josip Ilicic scored twice as Atalanta outclassed a sorry Milan with a 5-0 rout in Bergamo on Sunday.

The hosts were rewarded for a dominant opening with a wonderful solo goal from Alejandro Gomez and ex-Rossoneri midfielder Mario Pasalic doubled the lead shortly after the hour.

Ilicic drilled home in the 63rd minute and soon had a second with an exquisite effort as Atalanta - who completed the thrashing through substitute Luis Muriel - were rewarded for a display full of enterprise and invention with a result that sees them head into Serie A's mid-season break in fifth.

Milan, who were unbeaten in four prior to the game, and coach Stefano Pioli will need to do some soul searching over the next fortnight, though, after a woeful away performance.

Ilicic had already tested Gianluigi Donnarumma by the time Gomez opened the scoring with a sublime piece of skill after 10 minutes.

The forward nutmegged Andrea Conti on the left wing and drove inside before hammering high into the far corner.

Pasalic also rattled the crossbar and a ramshackle Milan, whose best first-half effort was a long-ranger from Ricardo Rodriguez, were fortunate Mateo Musacchio's elbow on Gomez only drew a yellow card.

Ruslan Malinovskiy placed a 20-yard effort just past the right post but a quickfire double had Atalanta in control.

Pasalic touched in Robin Gosens' strike from the left of the area, with Conti again beaten easily, before Ilicic turned Davide Calabria and rifled past a helpless Donnarumma less than two minutes later.

The best was still to come, though, with Ilicic jinking and weaving before cutting onto his left from 20 yards and bending a fine strike into the top-left corner.

Muriel, who replaced the brilliant Ilicic, made it five in the 83rd minute after racing onto a long ball and rounding the onrushing Donnarumma to tap into the open goal.


What does it mean? Woe in Bergamo for Milan

There were signs Milan were on the road to recovery after taking eight points from the previous four Serie A matches, but this was as hapless a showing the Rossoneri have produced during an underwhelming season. Isolated in attack, light in midfield and disorganised at the back, Pioli has much to ponder.

Ilicic the guide for fluent Atalanta

By contrast there was much to admire about Atalanta, whose front three caused Milan all manner of trouble. At the heart of it was Ilicic, who had forced Donnarumma into action twice before his goals. Gomez also impressed and had Conti on toast for his wonderful opener, while Pasalic – who did not celebrate against his former club – was always a creative outlet.

Conti emblematic of Milan's misery

Not many in a Milan shirt came out with much credit here, but Conti had a particularly torrid time and was culpable for Atalanta's opening two goals.

What's next?

Atalanta resume after the mid-season break with a home fixture against Parma on January 6, the same day Milan welcome Sampdoria.

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Barcelona to offer Griezmann to PSG in Neymar deal Rumour Has It: Barcelona to offer Griezmann to PSG in Neymar deal

    Barcelona are prepared to use Antoine Griezmann in a deal to land Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

    Neymar, 28, has constantly been linked with a return to Camp Nou, but ended up staying at PSG during the last close season.

    It seems Barcelona will pursue the Brazil international again and they may be prepared to offer Griezmann in a deal.

     

    TOP STORY – BARCELONA TO OFFER GRIEZMANN TO PSG IN NEYMAR DEAL

    Despite it proving such an ordeal to sign Griezmann in the first place, Barca will try to use him as a makeweight in a deal to land Neymar, according to Sky Sports.

    The report says the Spanish giants are prepared to let Griezmann go just one season after signing him from Atletico Madrid, as they reportedly also target Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.

    Barca will try to sell the forward elsewhere if PSG are not interested, the story claims, with the Frenchman underwhelming since his switch to Camp Nou.

    ROUND-UP

    - Liverpool are apparently preparing for a battle with Germany. The Mirror reports Germany see Jurgen Klopp – contracted at Anfield until 2024 – as a successor to coach Joachim Low.

    Manchester United remain interested in Erling Haaland. ESPN claims the Premier League club are again ready to compete for the forward's services with Real Madrid if the Norway international decides to leave Borussia Dortmund.

    - Will Gareth Bale remain at Real Madrid? The Mirror suggests the Wales international is ready to fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu despite his differences with coach Zinedine Zidane.

    Saul Niguez is apparently wanted in the Premier League. AS says Man United are willing to pay around £71million (€80m) for the Atletico midfielder, who has a release clause of £132.5m (€150m).

    Barcelona may be prepared to sell players this close season, but Arthur will not be among them. Sport reports the Spanish champions see the midfielder as a key player. Meanwhile, it is also claimed Gent star Jonathan David has been offered to the Blaugrana.

    Juventus have reportedly secured the futures of two players. Rai Sport understands Blaise Matuidi has extended his contract with Juve until 2021, while Marko Pjaca – who is on loan at Anderlecht – has agreed to a deal until 2023.

  • I don't even know what I want – Ibrahimovic unsure about future I don't even know what I want – Ibrahimovic unsure about future

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic is unsure what his future holds amid reports he will leave AC Milan at the end of the season and possibly retire.

    Ibrahimovic, 38, returned to Milan in December and scored four goals in 10 appearances before the campaign was stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The former Barcelona, Inter and Manchester United star is reportedly considering his future, with his contract at Milan expiring at season's end.

    But Ibrahimovic said even he was unsure about what was ahead as he considers his options.

    "Let's see," he told Svenska Dagbladet on Wednesday.

    "I don't even know what I want. Something new happens every day. Who could have predicted this with corona? We just have to try to live and enjoy life.

    "Don't worry too much. I have a family to take care of, they feel good so I feel good."

    Italy has been hit hard by coronavirus, reporting more than 110,000 cases and 13,100 deaths.

    Ibrahimovic said the health of the community had to come first, with the Serie A season suspended indefinitely.

    "It started to spread to football. They shut down the whole training facility, we were not allowed to move outside," he said.

    "It is tragic that football leagues shut down, but we must respect the system and be patient. They must find a solution that is good for the whole community.

    "Health is above all sport. I'm not worried about corona. I think it will be solved, it's just to wait until the experts know what to do."

  • Coronavirus: Walker hopes Premier League season resumes, but says football must 'take a back step' Coronavirus: Walker hopes Premier League season resumes, but says football must 'take a back step'

    Manchester City defender Kyle Walker hopes the Premier League season can resume, but said "football has to take a back step for now".

    The campaign has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought sport to a standstill around the world.

    It remains unclear when, and if, the Premier League campaign will resume, but Walker is hoping the season can get back underway.

    "Football has to take a back step for now because that is the least important thing on everyone's mind in the football world," the right-back said.

    "The health of family members and other people's family members is the most important.

    "But, I hope, and I am sure everybody else hopes, that football will come back and we will be able to finish off the season, but if it is not a possibility, then everyone does understand that people's health is more important than a game of sport."

    Walker discussed how City – who were second to Liverpool in the Premier League when the season was stopped – were keeping up team spirit using group chats.

    But the 29-year-old revealed manager Pep Guardiola, who donated €1million to the coronavirus fight in Spain, was not in the players' chat.

    "Obviously Pep is not in the group chat! I dropped him a text message last night saying hope you are OK, and I hope the family is well and fair play for donating the amount of money that you have donated," Walker said.

    "That says a lot about him as a person. Put football aside, that has come from his heart and it is something that should definitely be recognised."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.