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Italy - Serie A
January 8, 2012
• Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, Bergamo
Referee: N. Rizzoli
• Attendance: 15000
Milan have become the first side this season to win here in Bergamo, and go back to the top of Serie A as a result. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me.
90' + 3'
And that's that then. The referee blows for full time, and Milan have beaten Atalanta here 2-0.
90' + 1'
Van Bommel is on the end of a rash, completely unwarranted challenge from Denis.
Yellow Card Germán Denis
Milan are just keeping the ball fro fun now. Robinho to Nocerino to Boateng to Ibra, back to Robinho. And so on.
It's all Milan now. And it looks for certain that Atalanta's unbeaten home record will be lost.
And it was very nearly three! Robinho with a square ball across the box. But Nocerino, all alone at the far post, couldn't control the ball, and it runs away for Atalanta to clear.
Assist Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Goal Kevin-Prince Boateng
GOOOAAALLLL MILAN. And it's Boateng with the strike. A superb diagonal ball from Zambrotta finds Ibrahimovic on the right-hand side of the area. HIs first touch is outstanding, and takes it past Manfredini, only to square the ball across goal for Boateng, who sidefoot's it in first time. 2-0.
Yellow Card Luca Cigarini
The corner from Emanuelson is awful, and Atalanta clear.
OHHH. So unlucky for Milan. Ibra and Robinho linked up beautifully in the area, and the Swedish international fires a shot at goal, 10 yds out. Manfredini though, lunges in front of the ball, and it goes out for a corner.
A foul on Van Bommel 30m out results in a free kick to Milan, which Ibrahimovic will take. He decides to shoot at goal, but the shot is well wide and wasteful.
Yellow Card Thomas Manfredini
Atalanta are desperately pushing for an equaliser now, but Milan's back four are holding firm. Schelotto that time, tried to get round the outside of Zambrotta, but the veteran full back used all his experience and ushered him out of play.
It's a corner to Milan as an Ibra shot is blocked wide. Emanuelson takes it, but it's way too deep, and Atalanta clear the danger.
It's a free kick to Atalanta on the left-hand side, as Van Bommel fouls Padoin 30m from goal. The ball is whipped in from Cigarini, but it doesn't beat the first man, and Milan clear with ease.
Jens Friburg on Twitter is praising Atalanta's spirit, and I have to agree. They've come out in this half, and have completely over-ran Milan in all areas.
That's whipped in by Padoin, but Abbiati comes a long away and punches the ball clear.
Carmona fouls Emanuelson 30m from goal, and a free kick is awarded. The former Ajax man takes it, and whips a ball in towards Ibrahimovic. It's eventually cleare though, and Atalanta go staright up the other end, and win a corner for themselves.
It's another corner for Atalanta, this time from the right-hand side. But before the ball is even in the box, the referee blows for a free kick to Milan.
And from the corner, Denis HITS THE POST FROM A YARD OUT. A header is flicked on at the front post, and Denis, all alone at the far stick, strecthes out his right leg, only for the ball to come back off the post and out.
A foul by Mexes on Denis, results in a free kick for Atalanta 25m from goal, slightly to the left of the D. It's Carmona that takes it, and his shot, aiming right for the top left-hand corner is saved by Abbiati.
An absolutely crazy couple of minutes there. Atalanta had a long-range effort superbly saved by Abbaiti that went for a corner. And then from the resulting corner, Milan broke superbly, only for Ibrahimovic to completely ignore all his options and run out of room for a shot. Poor, poor play from the Swede. The game's definitely livened up though.
Pato's clearly keen to make an impression on this, a rare start. And it's his harrying that wins a corner for Milan. Emanuelson whips the ball in from the left, and finds the head of Pato at the near post. The header is flicked towards goal, but hits the bar, and Atalanta clear.
Ibrahimovic gives the ball away near the half way line, and Marilungo goes a long, if erratic run upfield. Van Bommel uses his experience though, and manages to wrestle the ball off the youngster, and Milan regain possession.
The break comes to nothing, and Milan go back up the other end. Nocerino plays it to Ibra on the left, and he crosses into the box towards Pato. The Brazilian's control lets him down though, and again Ferri clears the ball for Atalanta.
Milan are looking to put the pressure on early here, as Boateng whips in a cross from the right-hand side. The ball towards Pato though, is cleared away by Ferri, and Atalanta break.
Here wo go then. The second half is under way, with Milan, in their changed white strip, kicking from left-to-right.
And, as always, if you have any comments on this afternoon's game, do contact me via Twitter @alexjmott.
Elsewhere in Italy, the half time scores are: Roma 1-0 Chievo Bologna 0-0 Catania Cagliari 1-0 Genoa Lecce 0-1 Juventus Novara 0-2 Fiorentina
And that's it. The referee blows for half time, and Milan lead 1-0 through an Ibrahimovic penalty.
A cross from Padoin is played deep towards the far post and Schelotto. The wide man takes the ball down well and tries a shot at Abbiati's goal which is blocked, and the ball runs away for a throw in.
It's Atalanta on the attack this time. And Cigarini cuts in from the left-hand side, and tries to play a reverse ball into the path of Marilungo. The ball though, is overhit, and Milan have a goal kick.
Emanuelson plays a clever back heel to Pato on the left-hand touchline, which the Brazilian does well to control. But some stout defending by Ferri and Peluso means the ball is cleared away for danger.
Pato is fouled by Ferri out on the left-hand touchline, and a free kick is awarded that Emanuelson will take. The ball is whipped in towards the head of Pato, but a foul is given for a push.
It's Schelotto again with the ball. This time, he goes past Zambrotta and puts in a swirling cross, only for Abbiati to come out and collect.
Schelotto, who's seen a lot of the ball so far this half, tries to play a deep, diagonal ball to Denis inside the area, but it's overhit, and runs away for a throw in.
A long ball from Mexes finds Ibrahimovic just outside the area, and with his first touch, the big Swede chests the ball down to Pato, who's making a surging run to his right. The Brazilian though, tries to return the favour, and play the ball back to Ibra, but Manfredini gets back, and blocks the pass.
Yellow Card Carlos Carmona
Since the goal, it's been mainly Atalanta with the ball. But I don't want to big them up too much because we know what happened last time!
Yellow Card Daniele Bonera
Schelotto does well to get a cross in from the right-hand side, where he finds Marilungo. But the youngster tangles with Van Bommel, and goes down inside the area. The referee though, waves play on, much to the discontent of the Atalanta supporters.
I'd like to apologise to all Atalanta fans there, for completely cursing your team. Just as I was praising the Nerazzurri for taking the game to Milan, Allegri's side go straight up the other end and win a penalty.
Assist Alexandre Pato
Penalty Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
AND IT'S 1-0. WHO ELSE BUT IBRA? The penalty was side-footed into the bottom left-hand corner, with Consigli almost getting there. But he didn't, and Milan lead 1-0.
OHHHH. And just as I say that, the referee has given a penalty to Milan. Manfredini dives in on Pato inside the area. And it's an absolutely stonewaller.
I must say, Atalanta are playing absolutely brilliantly so far this afternoon. Unlike a lot teams in Serie A this season, they're really taking the game to Milan.
Yellow Card Kevin-Prince Boateng
It's an Atalanta free kick, this time Thiago Silva fouling Marilungo arounf 40m from goal. It's a well work set piece, as Cigarini plays in Schelotto on the right-hand side of the area, but the wide man's first time shot flies over the bar. Unlucky from Atalanta.
Emanuelson plays in Zambrotta on the left-hand side of the penalty area. The former Italian international goes down under a challenge from Peluso, but the referee waves play on.
Ibrahimovic drops deep and tries to shake of the challenges of Schelotto, but the Swedish international can't quite do that, and palms him in the face. A free kick is given, and the ball whipped in by Cigarini is a deep one that is cleared by Mexes.
Milan are happily keeping the ball in the centre of the park. Van Bommel and Nocerino inparticular, are spraying balls around nicely. But having just said that, Van Bommel plays the ball out, wide left, to Zambrotta, and the ball is overhit and out for a throw in.
And Atalanta have their first chance of the game. A low cross from the right-hand side by Schelotto finds Padoin on the edge of the area, but his first time effort goes well over the bar.
It's Milan's first corner of the game as Bonera's cross is blocked by Masiello out on the right-hand side. The ball goes in three seperate times from Emanuelson as Atalanta don't quite clear properly. But eventually, the former Ajax man's fourth cross is claimed well by Consigli.
Mexes upends Marilungo 40m from goal, and a free kick is given to the Nerazzurri. The resulting set-piece is poor though, and Abbiati claims the ball, unopposed inside the area.
Emanuelson gets his first real touch of the game, and goes on a delicate run, past three Atalanta defenders and into the box. He tries a one-two with Ibrahimovic, but the return pass is blocked by Manfredini, and the ball is cleared away.
And Atalanta are causing trouble already. Padoin on the left-hand side, put in a chipped cross towards Denis. But the goalscorer couldn't get enough on the ball, and Abbiati gathers with ease.
Here we go then. Atalanta will get us under way in their traditional blue and black strip, kicking from left-to-right.
The teams are lining up in the tunnel, with kick off literally minutes away.
There's 10 minutes to go until kick off here in Bergamo, and as always, if you have any views/musings/comments about today's game or Italian football in general, do contact me via Twitter @alexjmott.
It's also the Battle of the Goalscorers today here in Bergamo. German Denis is Italian football's unlikely topgoalscorer this season with 12 goals, and has been the key reason for Atalanta's fantastic start to the campaign. Whilst Milan have that perennial goal-threat, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, up front. The Swede has been in utterly outstanding form thus far, contributing 11 goals to Milan's title surge.
Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Bonera, Mexes, Silva, Zambrotta; Van Bommel, Nocerino, Boateng; Emanuelson; Pato, Ibrahimovic.
The line-ups: Atalanta (4-4-1-1): Consigli; Masiello, Ferri, Manfredini, Peluso; Schletto, Cigarini, Carmona, Padoin; Marilungo; Denis.
Milan though, are unbeaten in their previous 11 games, and boast the best attack (35 goals) and the best defence in Serie A this season. On the other hand, the Rossoneri have only managed one win in their previous four visits to the Atleti Azzurri d'Itaila.
It looks like a potentially difficult trip to Bergamo for Allegri's side today. Le Dea are unbeaten at home this season, and were it not for the six point penalty they received at the start of the campaign, would be sitting in sixth place, above Napoli.
Afternoon, and a happy new year to all you wonderful Goal.com readers. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for today's game between Atalanta and AC Milan, live from the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.
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