Serie A

Serie A Top Five, Round 17: Josip Ilicic humbles Milan

Atalanta and Bologna have two players each featured in our rankings.

11:20am on Monday 23rd December 2019
Martin Macdonald
Josip Iličić
F, AM (C) - Atalanta - 31 yrs
Dec 22, 2019
6Total shots
27Final third passes
42Passes completed
4Ball recovered

Atalanta embarrassed Milan with a heavy 5-0 victory on Sunday to move up to fifth in the Serie A, with Ilicic lighting up the game with a superb performance, scoring two and setting up another. The Slovenian was involved in the opening goal as he sent a pass down the left channel for Alejandro Gomez to slam a strike into the top right corner. The second half, however, was all about him. To score his first goal of the game, he turned Davide Calabria inside out a yard inside the penalty area before flashing a strike past the goalkeeper, who didn't have enough time to react. His second was even better, as he received a quick free-kick to feet which allowed him to whip a stunning left-footed strike high into the top left corner.

Riccardo Orsolini
AM, W (R) - Bologna - 22 yrs
Dec 22, 2019

Bologna moved into the top half of the table after beating Lecce 3-2 in an entertaining game. Riccardo Orsolini was the best player on the pitch, scoring his team's first and third goals. He opened the scoring just before the half-time break after finding himself in the right place at the right time to divert a cross into the net from close range. His second was fantastic, though, as he collects the ball inside the box before bamboozling the defender with a stepover, allowing him to smash an emphatic finish into the top right corner. He sent 17 passes into the final third, and had 68 touches in the game.

Edin Džeko
S (C) - Roma - 33 yrs
Dec 20, 2019

Roma made it fives games without defeat after beating Fiorentina 4-1 on Friday evening, with Edin Dzeko scoring their first goal before setting up another two in the second period. His only goal of the game 19 minutes when, after a lovely move involving Lorenzo Pellegrini and Nicolo Zaniolo, he was placed perfectly to score from six yards. He then turned provider in the second half, passing into the path of Pellegrini to score first-time, before sending a ball down the channel for Zaniolo to run through and make it 4-1. The Bosnian won the majority of his duels and aerial duels, too.

Nicola Sansone
AM (L), F (C) - Bologna - 28 yrs
Dec 22, 2019

While Orsolini was the finisher for Bologna, Nicola Sansone was the provider, as he set up the two goals scored by his team-mate. The first one, arguably, was actually meant as a shot, but the strike caused enough mayhem inside the box that Orsolini was able to score. There were no doubts about his second, as he found him again with a neat pass to the right section of the penalty box. He had 59 touches in the game, and also won the majority of his duels.

Mario Pašalić
DM, AM (C) - Atalanta - 24 yrs
Dec 22, 2019

Ilicic will rightfully take most of the plaudits for Atalanta after the destruction of Milan, but Mario Pasalic was very good also. He was incredibly unlucky not to score in the first half with a wonderful, dipping strike which clipped the top of the crossbar, so we can forgive him for his actual goal, which he stole from Robin Gosens with a cheeky flick of the boot. It was his command of the ball which impressed most, however, as he completed 45/49 passes, as well as making eight ball recoveries to help out defensively.


Romelu Lukaku (8.8) was among the goals for Inter again, scoring two and assisting another as the Nerazzurri comfortably defeated Genoa 4-0.


Pretty much every Milan player will want to forget the humbling by Atalanta, but Davide Calabria (4.9) was particularly bad - even though he came on as a substitute. He looked absolutely helpless as Ilicic skillfully drifted past him to score his first goal.

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