Atalanta picked up the point they wanted to stall third-placed Inter and catch Milan in fourth, with Mauro Icardi having the best chance of the game.
Icardi made his first appearance at San Siro since early February, as his comeback in the midweek 4-0 victory away to Genoa ended six weeks of exile amid a row over the captaincy and ‘coincidental’ knee injuries. Radja Nainggolan was rested for a move to 4-3-3, with Roberto Gagliardini marking his birthday against his former club. Atalanta were one point off Milan and that fourth Champions League spot, but top scorer Duvan Zapata was suspended and Rafael Toloi injured, so Papu Gomez became the False 9.
Matias Vecino had the ball in the net within five minutes, but he was offside on the Danilo D’Ambrosio assist. Pierluigi Gollini had to scramble back and fingertip the audacious Vecino lob from midfield out from under the bar, but after that frantic start, Atalanta began to keep more of the ball and Josip Ilicic’s shot was charged down.
Marcelo Brozovic pulled up clutching his hamstring and had to make way for Radja Nainggolan after just 23 minutes.
Icardi sprung the offside trap to go one-on-one with Gollini, but the dink was too weak and the goalkeeper was able to parry from point-blank range.
Duvan Zapata was sorely missed, especially when Gomez whipped a dangerous ball across the six-yard box and nobody was there to tap in.
Jose Luis Palomino made a decisive block on Matteo Politano at the end of a rapid counter-attack.
Straight after the restart, Ilicic rolled a dangerous ball across the six-yard box and Gomez at full stretch was millimetres away from making contact to tap in.
Nainggolan broke through the middle on a Vecino pass only to force a tough save from Gollini, then D’Ambrosio mistimed his header on a Kwadwo Asamoah cross at the back post.
Icardi’s header on a Perisic corner was charged down by Timothy Castagne, as Inter had more energy in the final stages and pinned Atalanta back, but couldn’t break through.
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