Tiribocchi 53 (A), Valdes pen 64, 72 (A), Conti 91 (C)
Stadio Azzurri d’Italia
Atalanta thrashed Cagliari 3-1, but were helped by a Daniele Dessena red card after just 17 minutes.
Time is running out for the Orobici, who were four points from safety going into this midweek round and only one above rock bottom Livorno despite Sunday’s 3-0 win. Cagliari’s confidence was collapsing after one point from five games, which saw the club reimburse fans after the 2-0 home defeat to Lazio at the weekend.
Cristiano Doni sat out a ban with the injured Edgar Barreto, Giampaolo Bellini, Paolo Zanetti and Leonardo Talamonti. The Sardinians had Diego Lopez suspended, while Francesco Pisano, Michael Agazzi and Andrea Parola didn’t make the trip.
Daniele Dessena drilled wide early on, but his game really didn’t last very long. After 17 minutes he flew in with a horrible late tackle from behind on Jaime Valdes at the byline and the referee had every reason to flash a straight red card.
Naturally Atalanta poured forward and soon after Federico Marchetti flew to palm a Gyorgy Garics angled drive round the post, while Valdes also tested the goalkeeper.
Javier Ernesto Chevanton limped off with a thigh problem and made way for Simone Tiribocchi in the first half.
Marchetti was keeping 10-man Cagliari in it with some more stunning saves on Valdes and even Agostini’s rather clumsy clearance that was turning into an own goal.
Atalanta finally broke through after the restart. Marchetti beat away a Simone Padoin screamer, but could do nothing on Simone Tiribocchi’s follow-up.
Valdes cut in from the left to unleash a rocket that Marchetti palmed out from under the crossbar.
Michele Canini clumsily tripped Tiribocchi and Valdes converted the penalty to double Atalanta’s advantage, sending Marchetti the wrong way.
Chilean Valdes completed his brace soon after with a sensational goal. He had acres of space on the counter, but took his time to curl a perfectly-aimed right-foot shot into the far top corner.
Nelson Jeda came on and off again after an injury. His replacement, Ragatzu, earned a controversial penalty when he just seemed to lose his balance during an acrobatic move. It didn’t matter, as Andrea Cossu smacked the penalty on to the underside of the bar.
Cagliari at least got a consolation goal in stoppages with Daniele Conti’s looping header.
Atalanta: Consigli; Garics, Bianco, Manfredini, Peluso, Ferreira Pinto (De Ascentiis 57), Guarente, Valdes (Ceravolo 75), Amoruso, Chevanton (Tiribocchi 35)
Cagliari: Marchetti; Canini, Ariaudo, Astori, Agostini, Dessena, Conti, Biondini, Cossu, Matri (Nene’ 71), Larrivey (Jeda 61) (Ragatzu 77)
Sent off: Dessena 17 (C)
Missed penalty: Cossu 80 (C)