AC Milan stunned at home by Atalanta


Atalanta upset the odds to beat AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro for what was only their fourth win of the Serie A season. Both teams had come into the match struggling for form, but it was the visitors who battled hardest for the points and German Denis' first-half goal settled things in their favour. That ended a run of three successive league draws for Atalanta, but Milan have now won just once in 10 matches and continue to hover around mid-table with European qualification threatening to slip away for Filippo Inzaghi's men. It was a lively start at the San Siro, with visiting goalkeeper Marco Sportiello called into action by both Alessio Cerci and Giacomo Bonaventura while Luca Cigarini drew a save out of Diego Lopez at the other end with a low strike. Atalanta turned up the heat further with a 25-yard drive from Yohan Benalouane, which took a heavy deflection off Milan defender Philippe Mexes to fall narrowly wide of the right post. And they were unfortunate not to take the lead after 18 minutes through Denis, whose left-footed strike from the edge of the area collided with the crossbar. Milan sought to respond to the pressure and Stephan El Shaarawy tried his luck from a tight angle on the half hour, but his effort was parried by Sportiello before Bonaventura fired the rebound past the left post. Atalanta capitalised by opening the scoring three minutes later. Milan's defenders were again caught short allowing Maximiliano Moralez to thread a pass through to Denis, who slotted the ball beyond Lopez into the bottom left corner. Milan made more of an attempt to push forward after the interval but a combination of poor passing and resolute defending kept them off the scoreboard, much to the frustration of the San Siro faithful. They did threaten a goal after 76 minutes through El Shaarawy, who rose to meet a cross from Pablo Armero only for his header to land on the roof of the net. Atalanta continued to be a presence at the other end of the pitch and could have wrapped up the points eight minutes from time but Davide Zappacosta's strike from the right of the area flew over the crossbar. Milan grew more and more desperate as the seconds ticked down but without success, and the sight of Adil Rami's header dropping straight into the arms of Sportiello summed up their afternoon.