AC Milan stay top despite Atalanta defeat as rivals Inter held

Sports

AC Milan stay top despite Atalanta defeat as rivals Inter held

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Print this page Email A Friend!


MILAN, Italy (AFP) — AC Milan held top spot in Serie A yesterday despite falling 3-0 at home against Atalanta after nearest rivals Inter were held to a goalless draw at Udinese.

Stefano Pioli's Milan saw their lead on second-placed Inter cut to two points but hold pole position at the halfway stage of the season for the first time since they last won the title in 2011.

“Being winter champions means nothing to me, now we have to react,” said Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Milan were outplayed at home with Atalanta's Cristian Romero heading in the first goal after 26 minutes in the San Siro.

Josip Ilicic added a second from the penalty spot eight minutes after the break after receiving a Franck Kessie elbow in the face.

Ibrahimovic missed a chance to equalise just before half time with the veteran Swede sending side.

Milan's new signing Mario Mandzukic came off the bench for the final 20 minutes but could not find the net on his debut despite testing Atalanta keeper Pierluigi Gollini.

Colombian striker Duvan Zapata connected with a Romero cross to seal the three points with quarter of an hour to go in the San Siro.

For the first time this season Milan failed to score a goal, falling to their second defeat this campaign after losing to Juventus earlier this month.

Atalanta move fourth into the Champions League places, seven points behind the leaders, and two points adrift of Roma who went third after a 4-3 win over Spezia.

Coach Gian Piero Gasperini hailed “one of our best performances in recent years”.

Antonio Conte's Inter failed to follow on from their win over Juventus last weekend, and the chance to go top with a victory in Udine.

Chances were few for Inter with Lautaro Martinez having a goal ruled offside and Nicolo Barella volleying wide in the rain.

Frustrations boiled over with Conte banished from the sidelines at the end of the game for arguing with the referee.

In Rome, Lorenzo Pellegrini scored a last-gasp winner as Roma bounced back after their Italian Cup defeat by Spezia with a 4-3 win over the promoted side.

Pellegrini blasted home in injury time, minutes after Daniele Verde had pulled Spezia level, with relieved Roma Coach Paulo Fonseca racing to hug the midfielder.

The capital side have been in turmoil since their chaotic 4-2 extra-time loss to Spezia on Tuesday.

The official scoreline was changed to 3-0 on Friday, as Roma made six substitutions, with just five allowed, during the last-16 clash which they finished with nine men.

Captain Edin Dzeko was left out of the team on Saturday, officially because of a muscular injury, but amid reports of a fall-out with Fonseca.

Borja Mayoral scored a double for the hosts, netting the first after quarter of an hour, only for Roberto Piccoli to pull 14th-placed Spezia level seven minutes later by pouncing on a mistake by home goalkeeper Pau Lopez.

Real Madrid loanee Mayoral slotted home his second on 52 minutes, before Rick Karsdorp tapped in to make it 3-1 three minutes later.

Diego Farias again responded for the visitors just before the hour, scoring the third goal of a dramatic six-minute spell at the Stadio Olimpico.

An error from Chris Smalling allowed former Roma winger Verde to equalise in the 90th minute, firing home left-footed after the England defender missed his attempted clearance.

Pellegrini had the final say, though, drilling the ball into the roof of the net from close range after Bruno Peres' unselfish cutback.

It was a first league win in three games for Roma, after last week's defeat by Lazio in the Rome derby and a draw with title rivals Inter Milan.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT