Ten-man Catania holds Atalanta

Ten-man Catania held on to earn a point in a 1-1 draw at Atalanta on Sunday.

Nicola Legrottaglie put the visitors ahead in the 18th minute but defender Nicola Spolli picked up his second yellow card and was sent off before half-time, leaving his side with a battle on their hands.

And Atalanta substitute Simone Tiribocchi equalised in the 70th minute to make the most of the numerical advantage but, although the hosts pressed forward, Catania held on for a draw.

The result has left Catania in ninth place, two points clear of Atalanta.

Atalanta went into the game riding a four-match unbeaten run and without a defeat at their Atleti Azzurri d’Italia Stadium.

They had the first chance when Simone Padoin fed German Denis inside the area and his right-footed strike went wide.

Atalanta goalkeeper Andrea Consigli was then forced to punch away Alessandro Potenza’s 30-yard drive.

Catania went in front when Legrottaglie got his head behind Giovanni Marchese’s cross and his powerful effort beat Consigli.

Atalanta almost equalised in the 32nd minute when Gennaro Delvecchio headed Potenza’s cross, but it went just wide of the far post.

Denis then saw his 10-yard effort saved by Catania goalkeeper Mariano Andujar.

With three minutes to go in the first half, Spolli was shown his second yellow card for a harsh tackle on Denis, leaving Catania down 10 men with 47 minutes remaining.

Atalanta dominated possession after the restart as Catania opted to defend deeply.

In the 65th minute, Tiribocchi’s header from Maximiliano Gonzalez’s cross went over the bar.

But Atalanta finally pulled level when Gonzalez’s corner-kick found an unmarked Tiribocchi inside the area and he volleyed the ball past Andujar.

Atalanta continued to push forward and almost scored the winner one minute from time, when substitute Guido Marilungo’s header forced Andujar to palm over for a corner.