Both sides had numerous scoring opportunities and rattled the woodwork, but it ended goalless between Novara and Atalanta.
They were still bottom of the table, but Novara felt like a new team after their shock victory away to Inter. However, they went into this relegation six-pointer with big problems picking a line-up, as Ivan Radovanovic, Filippo Porcari and Michele Morganella were all suspended. They joined the injured Carlalberto Ludi, Paolo Hernan Dellafiore, Francesco Marianini, Taka Morimoto and Daniel Jensen. Atalanta also had absentees, as Tomas Manfredini sat out a ban with the sidelined Carmona and Capelli.
In the opening four minutes Andrea Consigli flew to fingertip Marco Rigoni’s fierce strike out from under the crossbar.
Andrea Caracciolo had penalty appeals for a Federico Peluso challenge, then he just failed to get on the end of a Giuseppe Mascara angled drive across the face of goal.
Atalanta somehow failed to score on 26 minutes! German Denis ran on to a Matteo Brighi pass and his first attempt was charged down by Samir Ujkani, then the follow-up incredibly hit the underside of the bar from a yard out as Mascara came sliding across for a goalline clearance.
Mascara almost scored at the other end, his snapshot skimming the base of the post with Consigli rooted to the spot. Consigli was alert and at full stretch to beat away a Simone Pesce screamer.
After the restart the Atalanta goalkeeper was again forced into a difficult save on Rigoni’s strike, then from that corner Caracciolo’s looping header thumped the post and fell into a grateful Consigli’s arms.
Ujkani needed a great save to deny Under-21 international Guido Marilungo’s right-foot blockbuster at the near stick.
Caracciolo’s first touch let him down, while Maxi Moralez couldn’t get enough power on his header from an Ezequiel Schelotto assist.
Novara went down to 10 men in stoppages, as Pesce received a second yellow card.
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Sent off: Pesce 93 (N)