Andrea Consigli performed heroics by saving two penalties and being stretchered off, but Cagliari needed a last-gasp goal to hold 10-man Atalanta.
This game changed venue several times over the last week, as the Is Arena failed security checks so it was moved to the Stadio Rocco in Trieste, but Cagliari agreed to play in the original stadium behind closed doors.
The Sardinians were without hitman Mauricio Pinilla, while the Orobici missed Carlos Carmona, Guido Marilungo, Ivan Radovanovic, Adriano Ferreira Pinto and Daniele Capelli. Both sides lost their opening Serie A games without scoring a goal.
Ezequiel Schelotto had to leave the field very early in tears after an accidental collision with Francesco Pisano. Michael Agazzi beat away a powerful Thiago Ribeiro effort and Victor Ibarbo was offside on the follow-up.
The referee pointed to the spot after 20 minutes for a Tomas Manfredini handling offence as he came sliding in to block Perico’s shot. Replays show it was just inside the box and therefore the right decision. Joaquin Larrivey stepped up, but Andrea Consigli guessed the right angle for a great save.
Cagliari were awarded another penalty for Peluso’s shove on Ibarbo, leading to an inevitable second yellow card, and this time Daniele Conti took the responsibility. It was the same result, though, as again Consigli saved it!
Atalanta threatened to take the lead from a set play, as German Denis toe-poked it to force a tough Agazzi save.
Consigli was the hero of the night for Atalanta, but paid a heavy price for his bravery. He flew to palm away Thiago Ribeiro’s header in the six-yard box and teammate Guglielmo Stendardo clattered into him. Consigli got a knee to the side of the head and had to be stretchered off with a neckbrace.
Replacement Ciro Polito immediately needed a save on Radja Nainggolan, while Agazzi parried a Maxi Moralez free kick. Conti hit a rocket of a free kick that whistled inches wide.
Incredibly, 10-man Atalanta took the lead in the final minutes when Cagliari singularly failed to clear a corner and Denis managed to toe-poke in from six yards.
The referee awarded six minutes of stoppages and after five and a half of them Cagliari got their equaliser, as Albin Ekdal flicked in a corner from six yards.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk
Saved penalty: Larrivey 20 (C), Conti 29 (C)
Sent off: Peluso 28 (A)