Manolo Gabbiadini’s debut Serie A goal and a Simone Tiribocchi strike gave Atalanta the victory over Bologna.
Both sides were relatively comfortable mid-table, but needed another boost to be sure of securing safety. The Orobici were hit by bad news this week, as German Denis was ruled out for a month and Guido Marilungo for five months, joining Matteo Brighi, Daniele Capelli and Giampaolo Bellini on the treatment table. Bologna missed Gaston Ramirez, Gyorgy Garics and Federico Casarini, but had lost only once in their previous 12 games.
An early Manolo Gabbiadini free kick flashed across the face of goal to skim the back post and Marco Di Vaio admitted he got a touch, giving the home side a corner.
Di Vaio couldn’t get enough power on the shot from nine yards when a Guglielmo Stendardo mis-kick allowed a Nico Pulzetti cross through. Andrea Consigli flew to palm a Diego Perez snapshot out of the near top corner.
At the other end, Gabbiadini’s strike took a deflection off Andrea Raggi to wrong-foot the goalkeeper, who was glad to see it whistle just wide of the upright. From the corner Cristian Raimondi pulled back for Tiribocchi to fire over the bar from close range.
Another good Atalanta move moments later forced Jean-Francois Gillet to parry a Luca Cigarini screamer at the near post. Under-21 international Gabbiadini also hit a rocket of a free kick that bounced in front of Gillet, prompting a tricky save at full stretch.
Bologna were also dangerous from distance, as Consigli beat away an Alessandro Diamanti strike that was heading for the near bottom corner.
Atalanta were dominating, though, and before the break a free kick touched on for Tomas Manfredini’s fierce effort stung Gillet’s palms.
The home side did finally break through after the restart with 20-year-old Gabbiadini’s debut Serie A goal. Raimondi flashed a cross in from the left for Gabbiadini’s glancing header into the far bottom corner past Gillet’s outstretched hand.
Atalanta lost Federico Peluso to an injury, but Ezequiel Schelotto flashed a dangerous pass across the six-yard box past Gillet, only for Andrea Raggi to perform a crucial goalline clearance.
Gillet had to pluck a cross off the head of a totally unmarked Stendardo. Atalanta came so close to a second when Gillet had his gloves stung by an audacious Maxi Moralez free kick from a tight angle, then smothered the Schelotto follow-up from close range.
Substitute Carrozza couldn’t keep his volley down from a wonderful Schelotto pass.
Atalanta finished off the game in stoppages with a classic counter-attack. Antonsson’s poor clearance allowed Moralez to roll across for veteran Tiribocchi to sweep into the far corner with the inside of his right foot.
Bologna came very close to getting a consolation goal, but Diamanti's free kick curled on to the crossbar and back out.