The Brazilian striker netted after 11 minutes to give Livorno only their third win of the season. The win moves the Amaranto to within a point of Atalanta, who had Carlos Carmona sent off for a second booking ten minutes before half time.
Atalanta were hampered by a defensive crisis. Mario Yepes, Giampaolo Bellini, Stefano Lucchini and Guglielmo Stendardo were all unavailable, so Giulio Migliaccio was named as a makeshift defender. Luigi Giorgi, Franco Brienza and Giacomo Bonaventura were other absentees for the Nerazzurri.
Andrea Consigli was called into action after just 40 seconds. The Atalanta shotstopper got down to his near post to deny Siligardi. However, Consigli was powerless to prevent Livorno from hitting the front on 11 minutes. Paulinho ran onto a pass and managed to squeeze an angled shot past his marker and inside the edge of the far post. It was the frontman's fifth goal of the season.
Atalanta appealed for a foul when Emerson hauled Maximiliano Moralez down to prevent a one-on-one opportunity at goal. The referee didn't agree and waved play on. Carmona wasn't so lucky. Already booked for fouling Luci, the midfielder was dismissed after going through Ibrahima Mbaye.
The Orobici were facing an uphill task. Colantuono substituted Marko Livaja, forcing German Denis to lead the line on his own and feed on counter attacking scraps. The forward headed wide from behind the penalty spot in first half stoppage time.
Livorno took full advantage of having an extra man and nearly extended their lead at the start of the second half. Lionel Scaloni performed a last ditch goalline clearance to stop Paulinho from doubling his tally, after the forward sprung the offside trap and dribbled round Consigli.
Greco saw a free kick from 30 yards sail over the bar as Livorno continued to ask questions. Without the elusive second goal, Atalanta were still in the match. Moralez sent a high ball over the Livorno defence for Giuseppe De Luca to latch onto. The substitute was waved onside, but Francesco Bardi closed down the angle and cleared the ball. De Luca tried to turn provider, but his low cross just evaded Moralez who was sliding in.
Davide Nicola made attacking changes as Livorno looked to make the game safe. Luci's effort from 30 yards didn't trouble Consigli, but the home side did strike the woodwork two minutes from time. Paulinho laid off for Alfred Duncan, with the substitute's shot beating Consigli, before rebounding off the far post and back into Atalanta territory.
Livorno: Bardi; Coda, Rinaudo, Ceccherini; Gemiti, (Piccini 61) Luci, Emerson, Greco, (Duncan 78) Mbaye; Paulinho, Siligardi (Emeghara 70)
Atalanta: Consigli; Scaloni, Migliaccio, Canini, Del Grosso; (De Luca 62) Raimondi, Cigarini, Carmona, Moralez; (Marilungo 85) Livaja, (Baselli 39) Denis
Goals: Paulinho 11 (L)
Sent off: Carmona 35 (A)