AC Milan 1-2 Atalanta: Things we learn after Rossoneri crashed out of Coppa Italia

AC Milan was eliminated from the Coppa Italia after a 1-2 defeat at Atalanta as Rossoneri crashed out of another competition this season.

This season, Coppa Italia was vital for AC Milan since Rossoneri were out of the UEFA Champions League while struggling in the Serie A.

But even when they took the lead with Rafael Leao’s 45th-minute goal, Stefano Pioli’s side failed to succeed.

Coppa Italia Highlights

Things seemed to be going in the right direction for Milan when Leao’s fantastic finish in the closing stages of the first half made it 1-0, but Teun Koopmeiners equalized within 90 seconds.

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Koopmeiners would sting the Rossoneri again in the second half, and this time from the penalty spot after Alex Jimenez was controversially penalized for a foul on Miranchuk. The Dutchman converted from 12 yards, proving to be the winner.

Milan’s Coppa Italia drought will, therefore, continue, and it is a bitter blow given that many saw the competition as a legitimate trophy target given the teams eliminated already.

AC Milan fixture in January
AC Milan fixture in January

Things we learned after AC Milan’s defeat

Missed opportunity in Coppa Italia

The local cup competition could save Milan from a disastrous season, but the door was slammed. On the bright side, Milan can focus only on a top-four finish in Serie A and a Europa League run where the competition is much more fierce.

Two major calls proved to be vital

The Coppa Italia QF was not short of drama, as there were two major calls in the game, and the officials got both wrong.

Alex Jimenez got a touch on the ball but was adjudged to have committed a foul, and a penalty was given, resulting in Koopmeiners scoring what proved to be the winner.

With the game’s last touch, Milan had a penalty appeal dismissed by VAR despite a clear touch off the arm of an Atalanta player, which forced the ball away from goal and out for a corner.

They would say that big decisions went against them wrongly, but it’s part of the game, eventually.

Tik tok for Pioli

Another competition crashed out, leaving Pioli a little less time to stay. Numerous talks have been about who could replace the Italian boss before the end of the 2023/24 season.

Milan performed poorly as they struggled to produce quality in attacking areas and posed a sustained threat to put Atalanta under extended periods of pressure.

Coppa Italia crashed out can be the end for Pioli
Coppa Italia crashed out can be the end for Pioli

Pioli, of course, is not the sole person to be blamed for such failure, but a fresh change in the management is thought to be the only solution.