Ahead of tonight’s game against Atalanta, AC Milan were two points behind Roma in the standings, with the Giallorossi sitting in fifth place. Although the Rossoneri failed to grab all three points and at least temporarily move up, they secured an important point against a very good team.
At the start, the game was what you would have expected. Atalanta controlled the game and put a lot of pressure on Stefano Pioli, who managed to fight back and win a free-kick in the 14th minute. Hakan Calhanoglu stepped up and scored a fantastic goal, giving his side the lead against the run of play.
After that, Milan grew into the game and were unfortunate to concede what was a very scrappy goal, seeing as they could have cleared the ball on several occasions. Prior to that, Gigio Donnarumma also saved a penalty after a clumsy stamp by Lucas Biglia to cause the spot-kick.
Milan’s performance certainly wasn’t bad and against Atalanta, you should be very pleased with a draw. That being said, the Rossoneri had chances to win the game and given the standings, a win would have felt a lot better. Down below are the tops and flops for the Rossoneri.
Gigio Donnarumma: The goalkeeper made his 200th appearance for the club against Sassuolo and followed that up with another great performance this evening. Due to Alessio Romagnoli’s injury, he also wore the captain’s armband and kept energising his teammates throughout the game.
He made several good stops and also played well with his feet, often finding Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was able to bring the ball down almost every time. The penalty save was obviously crucial and he was unfortunate to concede the goal, almost stopping it with his body.
Hakan Calhanoglu: The Turkish international has been on fire since the league resumption, adding five goals and seven assists to his name. This evening was no exception and in a game where Milan didn’t have many shots on target – though they had chances – he was able to find the back of the net.
He was taken off quite early in the second half but it’s understandable given the tight schedule. This morning, he was linked with a departure from the club but quickly denied the rumours on his Instagram page and we can only hope that he will renew his contract.
Lucas Biglia: The Argentine just doesn’t have what is required anymore. He constantly looks quite sloppy and is often found just out of position in both phases of the game. Compared to Ismael Bennacer, it’s night and day. As mentioned, he also caused the penalty with an incredibly clumsy stamp.
His contract will expire at the end of the season and it’s becoming quite clear that Milan won’t bother to renew it. The recent performances are great examples of why he should leave and the current salary of €3.5m per year doesn’t help his case.
Diego Laxalt: Just like I said after the game against Sassuolo, the left-back played better than expected. Of course, this isn’t quite enough since we are used to seeing Theo Hernandez running up and down the left flank with pace and strength. Overall, though, it wasn’t that bad.
He is, however, very limited and often chooses the easy way out rather than taking his chances with a pass that could open up the opponents. Sure, you shouldn’t take too many risks but at least a few per game.
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