Cristian Bucchi’s Pescara debut started so well, but Atalanta fought back to win this relegation tussle 2-1 with a German Denis brace.
The Delfini sacked Cristiano Bergodi after earning one point from their previous eight games, promoting Primavera youth team Coach and former striker Bucchi for his Serie A debut. He was without Alessandro Sforzini, Luciano Zauri, Francesco Modesto and Ciro Capuano, but threw Per Kroldrup straight into the starting XI though he hadn’t played for 21 months. Atalanta welcomed back Matteo Contini and Riccardo Cazzola from suspension, but Carlos Carmona was banned with Giampaolo Bellini, Daniele Capelli, Lionel Scaloni and Guido Marilungo injured.
Marko Livaja only swung at a Cristian Raimondi cross and Denis was unable to get it out from under his feet in the six-yard box. An Ivan Radovanovic snapshot was also deflected just wide.
Pescara took the lead with their first real chance of the game after 24 minutes. Gaetano D’Agostino gathered on the edge of the box and smashed a fierce left-foot shot into the far top corner, a thunderous strike.
The referee pointed to the spot after Damiano Zanon’s sliding tackle on Giacomo Bonaventura. Denis stepped up and rolled it into the near bottom corner, sending Ivan Pelizzoli the wrong way.
Livaja couldn’t quite get on the end of a Cristiano Del Grosso cross from the left, while Vladimir Weiss was denied a free kick just outside the box as his run was cynically blocked off. To add insult to injury, that foul forced Weiss to hobble off the field. Livaja nodded a free kick wide, but was offside anyway.
Atalanta took the lead for the first time in the game after 67 minutes. Denis sprung the offside trap by chesting down a Davide Biondini cross from the right and the Pescara defence didn’t close down quick enough, as he had time to smash the half-volley under the bar.
Pescara caused a scare with Raimondi deflecting a cross on to the roof of his own net as Consigli was scrambling. From the corner, Emmanuel Cascione nodded over the bar.
In stoppages Stefano Colantuono was sent off for repeatedly leaving the technical area and with the last kick of the game Franco Brienza blasted a counter-attack off target.