SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 19 - 12 Jan 2014 (14.00 UK)
Atalanta 2 - 1
Denis pen 67 (A), Moralez 86 (A), Leto 88 (C)
Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia

Atalanta won this relegation six-pointer that left Catania bottom of the Serie A table.

This was a relegation dogfight and five points separated the Orobici from bottom of the table Catania going into this game. The hosts were without a victory in six, scraping just two points, while the Elefantini were revived by last week’s win over Bologna. Cristian Raimondi was suspended with Andrea Consigli laid low by chickenpox, Giampaolo Bellini, Carlos Carmona and Lionel Scaloni injured.

Catania had never conquered Bergamo in their previous 13 Serie A visits, managing seven draws and six defeats, but the last three encounters were stalemates.

Marco Sportiello was given his Serie A debut in goal and immediately had to parry a dangerous Pablo Barrientos effort. He was also let off the hook by a poor Lucas Castro first touch when sent clear on goal by Gonzalo Bergessio.

Franco Brienza’s volley flashed wide after good build-up work from Luca Cigarini, then Brivio horribly wasted a Yohan Benalouane cross by turning his free header over the bar.

Catania played better in the first half, but Francesco Lodi picked up a yellow card and will therefore be suspended against Fiorentina.

German Denis forced the first Catania save straight after the restart with an ambitious attempt from distance. Alberto Frison also got down very quickly to turn Giacomo Bonaventura’s effort round the far post with one hand.

From the resulting corner, a header ricocheted between Lodi’s goalline clearance and the upright. Atalanta claimed it was a handling offence, but replays suggest it hit his thigh.

Peruzzi’s shot was deflected wide, but Atalanta were awarded a penalty for Cristian Biraghi’s clumsy tackle on Maxi Moralez. Denis stepped up and converted low into the near bottom corner.

Maxi Moralez made the result safe on the counter-attack when Barrientos lost the ball in midfield, as he cut in to commit his marker and fired in under the bar at the near top corner.

Catania got a consolation goal in the final minutes with Sebastian Leto tapping in from six yards. He appeared to be offside, though it was tough for the linesman in the Bergamo fog.

The Elefantini almost completed the comeback deep into stoppages, but a wayward Bergessio volley turned into an assist for Kingsley Boateng who couldn’t nod in from point-blank range.


Atalanta: Sportiello; Benalouane, Stendardo, Lucchini, Brivio; Brienza (Del Grosso 73), Cigarini (Baselli 83), Migliaccio, Bonaventura; Moralez (Kone 90); Denis
: Frison; Lucchetti, Spolli, Fernandez, Biraghi (Leto 72); Izco (Boateng 81), Lodi, Plasil; Barrientos, Bergessio, Castro
Ref: Massa