Notes On Milan’s Return To The Champions League
Milan started without the injured and unfit Ibra and Rebic. Atalanta had Josip Ilicic and Luis Muriel on the bench.
The first few minutes featured little, the game was flowing well but Atalanta enjoyed a small advantage in play without really threatening Donnarumma’s goal. The hosts seemed to grow into the game as Milan were pinned in the zone as the game approached the 20 minute mark. Milan looked the more nervous and incapable of launching attacks.
A rare foray into the Atalanta box and Theo was half impeded, half fell down and a penalty was awarded. Kessie converted with Pierluigi Gollini barely moving in the Atalanta goal. Milan looked to be playing safe and long balls to Leao tactic that may work better if the Portuguese attacker uses his speed more to chase down the balls.
Milan led 1-0 at half time.
Luis Muriel came on for Matteo Pessina for the second as the hosts made an attacking sub. Atalanta controlled the ball and Milan were either unable or just plain unwilling to play attacking football and had reverted to a counter game. In the 57th minute Atalanta’s best chance of the game so far just missed the far post. Duvan Zapata’s low shot was inches away.
In response Meite and Krunic came on Bennacer and Diaz, to the dismay of many fans. Milan’s best chance came closest for Milan so far as he hit the post in the 68th minute.
Possession continued to heavily favour Atalanta. Muriel was Atalanta’s final ball man.
Further changes came as the game continued to remain one sided possession wise,. Mandzukic and Dalot replaced Leao and Saelemaekers.
A second penalty was awarded to Milan for a hand ball and Kessie converted it to confirm a 2-0 win and a return to Champions League football.
Milan made it hard for themselves but the season can be considered success.