A hope to see Milan pull into the top four was dashed by Atalanta, with La Dea holding the rossoneri to a 0-0 draw at the San Siro with a strong defensive performance. At times the guests actually had the better chances to find a winner, but an incredible performance in goal by Gianluigi Donnarumma kept them from stealing the win and salvaged a point for Milan.
Milan came out of the gates very slow on Saturday night. In the first 10 minutes Milan were in a state of disarray -- as a team, Milan struggled to complete even the most routine passes, with Mattia De Sciglio and Juraj Kucka being the main culprits. Andrea Poli was completely invisible, and Riccardo Montolivo was sending desperate long balls forward to no one in particular.
As the match grew on, M'Baye Niang began to grow in confidence and influence. Niang was dangerous every time he touched the ball -- he took on defenders willingly and caused problems for the defense with his intelligent passing and constant cross-field switches. Niang was responsible for Milan's best chance of the half when he slipped in a through ball that launched Carlos Bacca in on goal. Bacca collected the ball at the touchline and was able to cut inside and unleash a shot on target that only stayed out because of the heroics of Milan-owned defender Gabriel Palleta.
As a whole the first half was disappointing from the rossoneri. Their inability to complete passes and move the ball up the field made attacking difficult, as Niang was basically a one man show. Milan appeared to have got a little lucky as Kucka could've easily been tagged for a penalty when he barged into his man at the top of the box.
After a terrible first half which probably should have culminated in a second yellow card, De Sciglio was replaced at halftime by Davide Calabria. Calabria had a rather erratic game as he was lunging into too many tackles and should have had a penalty called against him when he slide tackled his man and looked to have missed the ball completley. Oddly enough, the referee issued a yellow card on the Atalanta player for diving.
The second half saw more of the same from Milan. The midfielders struggled to hold onto possession and complete basic passes which allowed Atalanta to grow into the game. That's when the Gianluigi Donnarumma show made its debut. Donnarumma was absolutely spectacular as he pulled off 3 unbelievable saves in the span of 10 minutes to deny Atalanta the go ahead goal.
The 16 year old was flat out spectacular. His monster saves are going to dominate the headlines, but the amount of composure and poise he exemplified with the ball at his feet was remarkable. On more than one occasion Donnarumma took a good touch, glanced up-field, and delivered a pinpoint ball to one of the outfielders. All in all it was an excellent display from the young Italian goalkeeper.
Mihajlovic proceeded to throw the kitchen sink at Atalanta as he threw on Luiz Adriano and switched the formation to an offensive minded 4-2-4. Milan didn't respond to the changes well, as they continued their lethargic, disjointed display. Milan's best chance of the second half came when Adriano headed down a corner from Alessio Cerci, but it was stopped on the line by Luca Cigarini, who was guarding the post.
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This is a very disappointing result for Milan as they were finally beginning to gain some momentum and play a more sustainable brand of football. With the Juventus game looming, Milan may have missed a key opportunity to bank some valuable points.