AC Milan 2-0 Atalanta: Zlatan Ibrahimovic breaks club record
AC Milan 2-0 Atalanta: Zlatan Ibrahimovic becomes the club’s oldest-ever Serie A appearance maker at 41 as the reigning champions of Italy continue their hot run of form in search of a top-two league finish
- AC Milan have moved level on points with second-placed Inter Milan
- An own goal combined with Junior Messias’ late strike to ensure victory
- While Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the club’s oldest-ever appearance maker
Serie A champions AC Milan beat Atalanta 2-0 in the Italian top-flight on Sunday, consolidating their position in the top four as they extended their winning streak and finally showed their quality as reigning title holders.
Milan have now won their last three outings and celebrated today’s continuation of good fortune with the return of veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Swedish centre forward underwent knee surgery in May last year amid fears at the time that Ibrahimovic could call it a day on his stellar career.
The 41-year-old was welcomed back to the San Siro courtesy of a standing ovation as he replaced Olivier Giroud and broke Alessandro Costacurta’s record of becoming the oldest player in the club’s history to feature in Serie A.
Milan took the lead in the 25th minute through an own goal by Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso, after the ball went in off his back as he tried to save a long-range shot by Theo Hernandez.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his long-awaited return for AC Milan after undergoing knee surgery last year
AC Milan moved level on points with second-placed Inter Milan after their latest win
Junior Messias (red top) wrapped up a brilliant win with this 86th-minute chipped finish
Midfielder Junior Messias then doubled Milan’s lead shortly before fulltime when he chipped Musso after taking a pass from forward Rafael Leao in his stride.
Milan moved up to third in the league standings on 47 points, level with second-placed Inter Milan and three points clear of AS Roma, who visit bottom side Cremonese on Tuesday.
Atalanta remain sixth on 41 points amid a torrid run of form that has now seen them lose three of their last four fixtures.
Milan boss Stefano Pioli praised his star’s in the aftermath of victory for ‘finally’ playing with ‘energy’ after a season of frustrations, telling DAZN: ‘We had won the other three games 1-0, but can’t always hope to keep a clean sheet, so we should’ve finished it earlier,’ Pioli told DAZN.
Atalanta were largely managed out of the game by AC Milan as they failed to register a shot on target
Messias celebrates scoring late on as AC Milan extended their winning streak to three games
Milan boss Stefano Pioli (left) praised his stars at full-time for showing ‘energy’
‘It was a great performance and finally we played with the energy I recognise from my players. That is the most important aspect.
‘We needed to have a sense of consistency, as we had never won four in a row this season, and we know the difficulties of facing a side like Atalanta.
‘We worked as a team, played with intensity, sacrificed ourselves and kept the ball well too.
‘I saw only positives today, but it’s a long season still and we need more points to secure a top four spot.’
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