September 15, 2012
AC Milan 0-1 Atalanta
|Luca Cigarini (64')|
The curse of the San Siro continued for AC Milan as they lost for the second time by the same 1-0 scoreline with Atalanta following the example of Sampdoria by taking all three points.
Luca Cigarini scored the only goal of the game in the 64th minute as the Bergamese side took all three points at a venue where the home team, be it Milan or Inter, have yet to win in five attempts so far this season.
Milan went close enough on numerous occasions, but lacked a cutting edge as a tactically perfect Atalanta side took three points with them on their short trip home.
Winning a football game can sometimes be decided by a matter of inches. Losing idem.
Milan were only inches away from finding the back of the net against Atalanta on at least three occasions, but they drew a blank, and lost the game.
Despite spending almost 90 minutes on the attack and sending ball after ball into the Atalanta penalty area, the lack of an extra inch on the foot of Nigel de Jong, Giampaolo Pazzini and others ultimately cost the Rossoneri dearly.
As has been the case for city rivals Inter Milan, there has been no joy on the new artificial pitch inside the San Siro.
Maybe the slippery nature of the much-maligned predecessors to the stadium's new state-of-the-art surface would actually have assisted Milan and seen them pick up three points tonight.
Instead, a little too much friction prevented De Jong from making contact with Antonio Nocerino's dangerous cross in the 70th minute when no fewer than three Milan players were just an inch or two away from diverting the ball in.
Pazzini similarly only just failed to reach a diagonal ball which needed just the slightest of touches to beat Andrea Consigli a few minutes later.
By this stage, Milan were chasing the game they had appeared to be in control of.
German Denis had given them the first warning when his deflected shot hit the post in the 21st minute as Atalanta played an astute counter-attacking game.
Consigli was tested just twice in the first half, first from Stephan El Shaarawy's shot and then from his own defender.
A Massimo Ambrosini effort also tested Consigli's grasp with Pazzini only inches away from reaching the rebound.
Atalanta took a not completely undeserved lead in the 64th minute when Cigarini's low shot from 20 yards found the bottom corner of Christian Abbiati's goal.
After the succession of excruciatingly near misses, an inch made the difference at the other end to keep Milan in the game as Abbiati tipped Maximiliano Moralez's shot over the crossbar in the 88th minute.
But despite being granted over six minutes of stoppage time, Milan failed to find an equaliser as the pressure increased on Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri after just three games of the season.