Atalanta's slim title hopes come to an end after Milan draw


Atalanta's Serie A title chances were dealt a potentially fatal blow as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Milan at the San Siro.

With Juventus having lost 2-1 in dramatic fashion to Udinese on Friday (AEST), Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta side would have moved within three points of the league leaders with a win.

Yet their hopes were virtually extinguished on Saturday – Hakan Calhanoglu's 14th-minute opener proving enough to secure a point for Milan, with Ruslan Malinovskiy seeing a penalty saved for the visitors prior to Duvan Zapata's equaliser.

The draw leaves Atalanta's fate out of their hands ahead of their final two matches and inched Juve closer to a ninth successive Scudetto.

Despite a bright Atalanta start, it was Milan who struck first – Calhanoglu catching Pierluigi Gollini out with a wonderful free-kick which curled into the top-right corner.

Atalanta were handed a chance to draw level when Lucas Biglia's stamp on Malinovskiy in the box was spotted by VAR, only for Gianluigi Donnarumma to save the resulting spot-kick.

But, after Calhanoglu had rattled the crossbar at the other end – albeit from an offside position – Atalanta found their equaliser in the 34th minute, Zapata drilling home after Remo Freuler's strike deflected into his path.

Alejandro Gomez went close with a wicked effort prior to the hour, though Atalanta were fortunate not to concede again when Alexis Saelemaekers' close-range strike was blocked.

Atalanta's frustration was almost compounded by their former player Giacomo Bonaventura when the Milan substitute hit the post with 17 minutes remaining.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wanted a late penalty, claiming he had been fouled by Berat Djimsiti, but his appeals fell on deaf ears as both sides settled for a point, with a member of Milan's backroom staff sent to the stands for his remonstrations at the referee's decision.

Source Omnisport