What looked to be a great evening for Milan, ended in misery for the players, as well as the fans. Having taken the lead early on through Gonzalo Higuain, the game eventually finished 2-2 as Atalanta equalised in injury time. Rightfully so, the fans have begun to ask questions, most of them being directed towards manager Gennaro Gattuso.
As mentioned, the Rossoneri got off to a great start as Suso’s wonderful cross was converted by Higuain after just 93 seconds: Milan’s fastest goal since Muntari’s strike against Juventus after 18 seconds in 2013. El Pipita has now scored three games in a row, certainly being a decisive figure for his new side already.
Milan continued to create loads of chances up front, but ultimately lacked the final touch to extend the lead. In the end, this was what cost them the game, as Atalanta in the second half found new energy after two substitutions.
As the newly introduced Zapata and Rigoni combined on a counter attack, the former managed to find captain Gomez in the box, who made no mistakes with an easy tap-in. For Milan, this was a massive blow, given all of the chances they had to be well ahead already at that stage.
However, despite the misfortune, the team managed to regroup and build on their fantastic first-half display. In fact, with 61 minutes on the clock, Suso added an assist to his tally as Bonaventura pounced on his right-footed cross, putting the home side back in front. From there on, the Rossoneri seemed to have a relatively good control of the game, but there was always the feeling that a mistake could take place.
As feared, the Milan players were unsuccessful with clearing an easy cross, which in the end made it’s way to Zapata. The Colombian fired a fierce shot which Donnarumma unbelievable managed to keep out, but Rigoni pounced on the rebound to draw Atalanta level.
For the Rossoneri fans, this certainly didn’t go down well. Unlike the game against Cagliari and Roma, they actually managed to create chances when dominating, but today a wastefulness was evident. Within the first 45 minutes, Milan could have easily been up by four goals, but instead, they got only one heading into the half-time break.
In addition to this, the defence once again conceded, failing to prevent the opponents from getting into good chances. This was especially displayed on the equaliser, as Romagnoli and co. somehow failed to clear the cross, simply letting it past them. Furthermore, the second balls always seemed to fall in favour of Atalanta, making the latter a constant threat to the defence. Many will feel that the visitors’ second goal could have been avoided, and I would have to second this. The Rossoneri have now conceded ten league games in a row.
For Gattuso, this certainly doesn’t help in his quest of remaining as Rossoneri coach. The fans can rightfully ask questions about his decision-making, especially taking out both Calhanoglu and Bonaventura, with the latter being simply brilliant. Even if Gattuso would like to see Bakayoko and Castillejo shine, you simply can’t replace the starting duo without losing quality in the defensive phase.
However, in my opinion, we haven’t yet got to the stage where Gattuso should be sacked, as Milan are actually playing decent football for a majority of the games. The only thing stopping them thus far is poor defending and mental collapses, things that certainly can be worked on. With that said, though, none involved should be happy with the start of the season.
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