Champions Milan missed out on a second win in their second game in their first real test of the young season. At Atalanta Bergamo, the Rossoneri improved in the second period but ultimately missed out on a possible victory.
The comparison between Atalanta and champions Milan, who had already fought intense duels in recent years (most recently 2:0, 3:2, 2:0 for the Rossoneri), was the top match of the 2nd Serie A matchday – especially as both Lombardy clubs had started successfully with a treble.
In the direct duel, the Bergamo side initially had the edge – and were soon able to pat themselves on the back. After the initial pressure from Milan, coach Gian Piero Gasperini’s team managed to keep the visitors away from their own goal and really unnerve them with their concentrated defensive work.
The Rossoneri, for whom only Rafael Leao (1st) and Junior Messias (23rd) were able to cause any real danger, did not really get into their game – and were suddenly 0:1 behind after a hammer shot by Malinovskyi: The Ukrainian, who had recently been linked with a move to England, for example, shot down hard after a cross pass. The ball was deflected slightly and hit the ground (29.)
Tonali’s failure – and Bennacer’s response
It was clear that Milan needed a clear performance improvement after the used first 45 minutes. And they did: Kalulu had a great chance to make it 1-1 with a header early on, but missed (50th). Rafael Leao also missed the right angle with his artistic shot (53rd), before Tonali despaired of Keeper Musso after a great pass from Joker and newcomer de Ketelaere (60th). In between, Pasalic had almost given Atalanta a 2-0 lead, but his header was saved by Maignan (56th).
All in all, this game was now really exciting and, in contrast to the first period, also offered clearer as well as beautiful offensive scenes. Among them was the by then long deserved 1:1, which Bennacer marked after a short solo with a cracker and the help of the left inside post (68.).
In the final phase, in which both teams restricted themselves to concentrated defensive work in order not to make any mistakes, only the substitute Origi, who had come from Liverpool, had a chance. Bergamo’s Djimsiti intervened (80th).
All in all, it was a fair draw between these two Lombardy teams. Milan’s next match is at home against FC Bologna on Saturday (20.45), while Atalanta play Hellas Verona one day later (18.30).