Atalanta humiliated AC Milan to their second league defeat of the season with a 3-0 win at San Siro on Saturday, but Stefano Pioli’s side was still tagged ‘winter champions’ in Serie A.
Next up for Milan is meeting with fierce rivals Inter in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Tuesday evening whilst Atalanta play host to Lazio in the same competition on Wednesday.
Milan was poor throughout and simply couldn’t handle the visitor’s creativity in the final third.
A Cristian Romero header put the visitors ahead at half-time before a Josip Ilicic penalty and Duvan Zapata strike finished a predominant win for the Bergamo side.
Atalanta got opportunities to win the game by an even wider margin as an unwell Milan put in one of their most noticeably awful performances of the season.
The home side failed to register a shot on target until debutant Mario Mandzukic forced a decent save from Pierluigi Gollini in the 71st minute with his first touch after coming on.
Milan nevertheless claims the title of winter champions as they are on top of the league with 43 points, two points clear ahead of Inter Milan after their 0-0 draw at Udinese.
Atalanta moved into the top four on 36 points, returning back to form in style after consecutive draws against Genoa and Udinese.
Visiting manager Gian Piero Gasperini revealed to Sky Sports Italia after the match: ‘Ilicic had an incredible game, even though there were a few situations where he can do better. Everybody had an incredible game.
‘This is probably the best performance since I’ve been here. We accomplished it against the Serie A leaders, the Winter Champions, however, we were dominant inside and out tonight and that is massively fulfilling.
‘After the game with Liverpool (in the Champions League), which was awful we conceded five goals at home, we learnt from our mistake and made the changes we needed to.
We press the opponents further, which permits us to secure the defence, and we’ve been doing that for several weeks.