SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 36 - 13 May 2017 (19.45 UK)
Atalanta 1 - 1 Milan
Conti 44 (A), Deulofeu 88 (M)
Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia

Gerard Deulofeu’s deflected late equaliser grabbed a Milan point in Bergamo, but Atalanta still qualify for Europe after 26 years.

The Bergamo boys had the opportunity to lock down a Europa League spot with a point and a victory would secure fifth place. Andrea Conti and Remo Freuler returned from suspension, but the Rossoneri had Gabriel Paletta and Lucas Ocampos banned, plus Ignazio Abate, Luca Antonelli and Giacomo Bonaventura injured. Alessio Romagnoli recovered from a muscular problem in a revamped 3-5-2 system with Riccardo Montolivo’s first Serie A appearance since October 2016.

Milan last beat the Orobici with a 3-1 result here in May 2015, managing three draws and a 2-1 defeat, home and away.

Gerard Deulofeu and Andrea Petagna efforts were charged down, while Papu Gomez failed to make the most of a terrible Juraj Kucka back-pass and Bryan Cristante nodded a corner over the bar.

Deulofeu tested Etrit Berisha at the base of the near post, while Gustavo Gomez did well to block a Mattia Caldara chest and volley inside the box.

When Papu Gomez did finally find space to sprint forward past defenders, his strike was brilliantly parried one-on-one by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

However, moments later Leonardo Spinazzola flew down the left and Donnarumma fumbled the cross-shot from point-blank range, so Andrea Conti was quickest to react for the tap-in, giving Atalanta the lead. It was his eighth Serie A goal of the season, making him the most prolific defender in Europe’s top five leagues.

Straight after the restart, Berisha slipped on a Mattia De Sciglio cross, but Mario Pasalic steered it wide at the back post. Bryan Cristante also wasted a good opportunity, stinging Donnarumma’s gloves in acres of space.

Pasalic nodded a free kick just wide and Gianluca Lapadula at full stretch turned a Suso long ball off target. Franck Kessie’s ferocious strike was fingertipped round the post by Donnarumma and Lapadula drilled straight at Berisha.

Milan equalised with a stroke of luck in the final minutes, as Delofeu was offside when he gathered the through ball, cut back to commit a sliding defender and saw the shot take a massive deflection off Andrea Masiello, wrong-footing Berisha.

The point was still enough to ensure Atalanta will finish in the top six and qualify for Europe for the first time since 1990-91.


Atalanta: Berisha; Toloi, Caldara, Masiello; Conti, Cristante (Hateboer 84), Freuler, Spinazzola; Kessie; Petagna (Kurtic 71), A Gomez (Paloschi 90)
Milan: Donnarumma; G Gomez, Cristian Zapata, Romagnoli; Kucka (Bacca 58), Suso, Montolivo, Pasalic (Bertolacci 78), De Sciglio (Vangioni 90); Lapadula, Deulofeu
Ref: Rocchi