Atalanta were held to a 1-1 draw by Genoa in Bergamo on Sunday, in a meeting between two of Serie A's safe mid-table sides. The visitors took a first half lead thanks to an excellent goal from Paolo De Ceglie, though went down to 10 men through a Daniele Portanova red card early in the second. They couldn't withstand the late barrage, and Giuseppe De Luca eventually notched a deserved equaliser for the hosts.
It took almost half an hour for Genoa to open the scoring, though on the balance of chances created, it was a deserved advantage for the grifone. Their first opportunity came after just 12 minutes when Andrea Bertolacci drilled the ball against the base of the post, 10 minutes before Ioannis Fetfatzidis squirmed into the Atalanta box and forced a near post save from Andrea Consigli.
The game was a scrappy midfield affair, though when it came, the opener was undeniably a moment of class. A wonderful Genoa team move culminated in Paolo De Ceglie drifting in from the left and allowing Luca Antonelli the space to pick an inch-perfect cross, headed in by the former Juventus winger himself. Atalanta had no first half response, in what was a pretty uninspiring performance.
However, the entire complexion of the game changed within five minutes of the restart, when Genoa defender Portanova bundled Germán Denis over in the penalty area and earned a red card for his efforts. Mattia Perin produced an excellent save on Denis' subsequent spot-kick, though playing the remainder of the match with a numerical disadvantage was sure to make life difficult for the leaders.
So it proved, as Atalanta immediately seized control of possession. Their defender Yohan Benalouane nodded a header against the crossbar with 25 minutes to play, shortly before Denis continued his horrible evening by missing when free in the penalty area. Eventually, with less than 10 minutes remaining, the pressure told; De Luca converting after Perin had made an initial stop on defender Guglielmo Stendardo.
Atalanta: Consigli; Del Grosso, Lucchini, Stendardo, Benalouane (Bentancourt 89'); Baselli (Raimondi 84'), Cigarini, Migliaccio; Bonaventura, Denis, Estigarribia (De Luca 30').
Goals: De Luca (82').
Genoa: Perin; Marchese (De Maio 64'), Portanova, Antonini; Antonelli, Bertolacci, Sturaro, Vrsaljko; De Ceglie (Gamberini 76'), Gilardino, Fetfatzidis (Burdisso 53').
Goals: De Ceglie (27').
Red cards: Portanova (50').