Bergamo, Italy, October 4 (BUS): AC Milan continued their impressive start in the Italian Serie A football on Sunday, after Atalanta’s late comeback to a 3-2 win away from home.
Milan took an early lead, with captain David Calabria hitting the ball on the second attempt after just 28 seconds, Reuters reported.
The hosts ramped up the pressure in search of an equaliser but were unable to capitalize on many chances, and Atalanta’s waste proved costly as Sandro Tonali raced three minutes before halftime to double Milan’s advantage.
Milan did not calm down as Rafael Liao put victory undoubtedly with a third goal 12 minutes from the end of the match.
Duvan Zapata put Atalanta back in the game with a penalty four minutes from the end, before Mario Pasalic secured a tense finish for Milan in stoppage time with a second goal for the hosts, but it proved too little, too late.
The sixth win out of seven league games this season helped second-placed Milan reduce the difference with leaders Napoli to two points, while Atalanta, who finished third behind Milan last season, are eighth after their first defeat in six games in all competitions. .
“After we got the score to 3-2, we got worried but it’s over now,” Tonali told DAZN. “We played a great match.
“We went strong despite some fatigue after the Champions League in the middle of the week. Now let’s continue like this. If you come to Bergamo and play a match like this, then you are on the right track.”
Milan were the go-to specialists last season, winning 16 of their 19 Serie A road games, and maintaining their unbeaten away record, this season becoming more achievable in Bergamo after Calabria’s early goal.
The Calabria goal was Milan’s third-fastest goal in Serie A since the 2004-05 season – when those stats were first collected.
Both Zapata and Ruslan Malinowski should have done better from the good positions of the hosts as they chased the equalizer, while goalkeeper Mike Minnan was in good shape again for Milan.
It was a goal that gave Milan some breathing space that could have been avoided, as Remo Froeller was caught by Tonali who managed to hit his home for the third time of the season unopposed.
Atalanta ended with the match over, with Alexis Sailemakers squandering a superb opportunity to net the third goal midway through the second half before Leao netted his third goal of the season.
Out of nowhere, Milan’s newcomer Junior Messias was doomed to tackle the penalty area, giving Zapata the opportunity to upset Stefano Pioli’s side, who confidently converted him.
This thunderbolt out of the blue proved to be malfunctioning as the Basalek variant was left unattended to strike home at close range but there was not enough time to complete the comeback.
“We performed better than our competitors,” Pioli told reporters.
“We knew that Atalanta started strongly at home, but we started better than them with a goal from Calabria, which gave us more conviction.”