Atalanta fell to their first defeat since February 5, as Cagliari pushed them aside with Daniele Conti and Mauricio Pinilla.
Both these sides were practically safe from relegation, but wanted a few more points to be absolutely sure. Davide Astori sat out a ban for the Sardinians, joining the injured Daniele Dessena, Moustafa El Kabir, Rui Sampaio and Sebastian Eriksson. Atalanta were still without top scorers German Denis and Guido Marilungo, plus Matteo Brighi, Giampaolo Bellini and Daniele Capelli, so Under-21 international Manolo Gabbiadini took the reins.
Mauricio Pinilla had a fantastic chance to put Cagliari in front at the eighth minute when he unleashed a screamer, but it cannoned off the upright with Andrea Consigli well beaten.
The Sardinians did take the lead soon after, but it was from a Daniele Conti free kick that split the Atalanta wall to slip in at the base of the far stick.
It was all the Sardinians early on and Consigli had his palms stung by a Thiago Ribeiro blockbuster.
Atalanta finally made an impact when Simone Tiribocchi just failed at full stretch to get his final touch on a through ball when clear on goal. Lorenzo Ariaudo also needed a perfectly-timed sliding tackle to stop Gabbiadini in the box.
Luca Cigarini’s effort was too central to trouble Michael Agazzi, while Consigli beat away a powerful Conti free kick.
Agazzi tried to play on after a knock to the ribs, but had to come off straight after the restart, making way for Vlada Avramov. The substitute goalkeeper had to parry from a Carlos Carmona left-foot screamer.
Cagliari doubled their lead with a wonderful team move, as the cross from the left was worked with one-touch passes from Cossu and Albin Ekdal on its way to Pinilla’s tap-in.
Cossu skimmed the woodwork with a fierce strike on the counter-attack and Thiago Ribeiro tested Consigli. In stoppages, Gabbiadini’s excellent free kick was turned out for a corner by Avramov.
Atalanta fell to their first defeat since February 5 and must put off the safety party for a little longer.