Atalanta played out their second consecutive goalless stalemate, this time against Udinese, and remain perilously close to the drop zone.
Edy Reja’s debut was a disappointing 0-0 draw at Parma, so the pressure was on to impress in front of the home fans after replacing sacked Stefano Colantuono. On the other hand, the Friulani were fresh from a morale-boosting 3-2 victory over Torino.
Marco D’Alessandro was suspended with Davide Zappacosta and Cristian Raimondi sidelined. The visitors missed Maurizio Domizzi and Thomas Heurtaux, while Panagiotis Kone was ruled out by a muscular problem before kick-off.
Udinese hadn’t won this fixture since 2006, picking up four draws and two defeats in Bergamo.
German Denis forced Orestis Karnezis into a save on the line with his header after just three minutes, but Udinese came closer with a great Silvan Widmer effort. He burst down the right and smashed his finish across Marco Sportiello, thumping the base of the far post.
Karnezis bravely intercepted a Maxi Moralez chipped pass at Denis’ feet, while Giuseppe Biava, Antonio Di Natale and Alejandro Gomez had snapshots.
Boukary Drame failed to keep his free header down and a dangerous cross whipped along the face of goal with no Atalanta teammates able to tap in.
Urby Emanuelson’s smart back-heel flick set up Papu Gomez, but Karnezis was ready to smother the strike from the edge of the box.
Atalanta went down to 10 men, as the referee flashed a straight red card at Carlos Carmona. It seemed rather a harsh decision, even if it was a very clumsy tackle.
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Sent off: Carmona 76 (A)