Milan saw off Atalanta in a local derby and incredibly close to within a point of leaders Juventus!
The Rossoneri were hanging in there for the Scudetto, but time was running out and the gap was still three points. Antonio Cassano started again after his inspirational turn against Siena. Robinho and Massimo Ambrosini returned, but Clarence Seedorf, Alexandre Pato, Thiago Silva, Urby Emanuelson, Ignazio Abate, Gianluca Zambrotta and Pippo Inzaghi were still sidelined. Atalanta set a new club record for points and mathematically secured their safety at the weekend, so were eager to cause an upset in this local derby. Matteo Brighi, Guido Marilungo and Daniele Capelli did not make the trip, but Simone Tiribocchi partnered German Denis.
Milan started strong in their new kit, as in the opening three minutes they had three shots on target, one deflected wide, Kevin-Prince Boateng and the Zlatan Ibrahimovic follow-up both testing the goalkeeper Andrea Consigli.
Boateng again forced former Under-21 international Consigli into a tough save with a powerful strike, but it was Sulley Ali Muntari who broke the deadlock. The Ghanaian sprung the offside trap to volley in a Boateng cross low at the back stick from six yards.
Atalanta were in the game, though, as Christian Abbiati palmed away a splendid glancing German Denis header and Alessandro Nesta cleared the danger.
Consigli just about smothered at Cassano’s feet when Ferri risked an own goal with his deflection. Denis hit a daisy-cutter that skimmed the upright for Atalanta, then on the stroke of half-time Cazzola’s long-range strike shaved a coat of paint off the base of the far post.
Cassano combined with Ibra and the Swede’s finish was inches wide to Consigli’s right, as was an Antonio Nocerino strike. Luca Cigarini needed a perfectly-timed tackle in the box to stop Nocerino completing a Milan counter-attack.
Tiribocchi was offside, but the linesman did not flag, so his header wide counts as a terrible error from the striker.
Mathieu Flamini made a rare appearance after almost a year out with injury. Ibrahimovic should’ve made it 2-0, but horribly placed his lob off target when skipping between three defenders.
The atmosphere at San Siro was sluggish throughout, but suddenly sparked up into cheers when news filtered through that Lecce had equalised against Juventus. However, Milan hadn’t finished off this game either.
Ibrahimovic unleashed a screamer that Consigli parried just past Flamini. Robinho hit the crossbar at the 88th minute, then as the move continued he rolled across for Ibra to put the ball in the net when offside.
Milan finally got their second goal deep into stoppages when Consigli parried a fearsome Ibrahimovic free kick, but only into the path of Robinho to nod in from six yards.
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