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Serie A: AC Milan suffer worst defeat in 21 years

By Vincent Ashitey
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Atalanta taught Milan a football lesson with a 5-0 thrashing in the Lombardy Derby, including Josip Ilicic’s brace and a Papu Gomez stunner.

The Derby di Lombardia saw Atalanta finally able to prepare without Champions League pressure, having qualified for the Round of 16. Papu Gomez and Josip Ilicic returned from injury, though Duvan Zapata was still out for the long-term, while the Rossoneri had Theo Hernandez and Lucas Paqueta suspended, dropping Krzysztof Piatek for Rafael Leao.

This was the final game before Christmas, so Atalanta wore their traditional green ‘tree’ kit, which will be auctioned for charity.

It took 45 seconds for Gianluigi Donnarumma to make his first save, flying to palm away an Ilicic curler with the weaker right foot.

Alejandro Gomez broke the deadlock with a sensational solo effort. He burst down the left flank, nutmegged Andrea Conti and smashed it right-footed into the far top corner from an acute angle.

It was almost 2-0, as Mario Pasalic hit a scorcher from 20 metres that clipped the crossbar, nearly beating former teammate Donnarumma.

Pierluigi Gollini read a Hakan Calhanoglu slide-rule pass to smother at the feet of Suso, while Rodriguez fired wide.

Donnarumma again had his gloves stung by an Ilicic curler, this time with the left foot from the edge of the box.

Atalanta seemed to be biding their time and when they did step on the gas, they powered away.

First Robin Gosens ran down the left, cut inside and his cross-shot took a slight deflection off Pasalic from six yards to wrong-foot Donnarumma. The former Milan midfielder refused to celebrate as a show of respect for his old club.

Moments later, it was 3-0, as Ilicic turned Davide Calabria inside out to blast in with his weaker right foot across Donnarumma into the far bottom corner.

Milan were barely in the game to begin with, but fell apart entirely after that, with the Bergamo crowd mockingly chanting every Atalanta pass.

Ilicic added more humiliation with a fourth goal, curling a trademark left-foot stunner into the far top corner from the edge of the box. It was the first time since 1955 that Atalanta had put four goals past Milan in Serie A.

They very nearly got five, as Donnarumma made a desperate save from close range on Timothy Castagne and Davide Calabria had to clear the rebound off the line.

There was still time for a fifth, as Donnarumma ran out to meet substitute Luis Muriel on a long ball, but the Colombian was quicker and managed to deposit into an empty net.

At 5-0, it was Milan’s heaviest defeat since Roma in 1998.

Source: footballitalia