AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella has praised his side despite being held to a scoreless draw at home, and their second disappointing result in a row after losing 1-0 to Roma last weekend.
The Rossoneri had the chance to hold onto their third spot on the table going into the new year, but will now have to wait until Lazio and Napoli play their respective matches to see if they will stay in 3rd, or drop to 4th, or even 5th.
Milan had a few chances to end the stalemate, with Carlos Bacca and Gianluca Lapadula having chances cleared off the line. Luca Antonelli also hit the post in what was a frustrating match.
In Montella’s eyes though, it wasn’t all bad news:
"I congratulate the guys – they had good mental toughness and the second half was only played in Atalanta's half.
"We had the feeling that a goal could come at any moment.
"We deserved more and a win would have been the icing on the cake for this year in the league, but it was also important not to lose.
"In the last game, we deserved something against Roma. The statistics and numbers do not tell the whole story about our last two games.
"I am happy about our current position in the standings and with what the players are doing."
Midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura also made some positive remarks about the team and their progress
"We put in a good performance and in the past had struggled against sides who play like Atalanta," he said.
"The result is not fully satisfying, but we are keeping our performance level. We can do more and need to keep working.
"We have many young players in the squad and you can see they are maturing game by game."
Milan have certainly improved since last season, where in round 17 they were in 7th position on 28 points.
Thanks to Supercoppa Italian commitments in Qatar, where they take on Juventus next Friday, Milan won’t play in the Serie A again until Janurary 8th, when they host Cagliari.