Genoa end losing run
Last Updated: 25/11/12 4:28pm
Andrea Bertolacci scored the only goal of the game
Andrea Bertolacci's solitary strike saw Genoa end a run of six straight Serie A defeats with a 1-0 victory at Atalanta on Sunday, as the Rossoblu survived Emiliano Moretti's late dismissal.
Luigi Del Neri had overseen five losses since replacing Luigi De Canio in October but Bertolacci finally broke the new coach's duck to lift Genoa out of the bottom three.
Goalkeeper Sebastien Frey had to be at his best as Atalanta poured forward in search of an equaliser, with his task made all the more difficult when Moretti saw red four minutes from time.
Bertolacci showed early promise with a wicked swerving shot that Thomas Manfredini only just managed to deflect to safety.
Genoa were serious about mounting a revival and Andrea Consigli had to think fast to block Marco Borriello's long-range effort after the Rossoblu striker had fought valiantly to win the ball.
It seemed that Genoa were headed for another afternoon of struggle, though, when Maxi Moralez tucked the ball away in the 26th minute, but the linesman called offside.
Bertolacci made the breakthrough with relative ease in the 39th minute, wriggling into the area to seize on a loose ball and turn it home.
Atalanta sought a rapid response and Ezequiel Schelotto came inches away from equalising, only to be denied by the quick thinking of Juan Vargas on the brink of half-time.
There was still time for Giacomo Bonaventura to appeal for a penalty after Mario Sampirisi's last-ditch challenge, but the referee was unmoved.
Atalanta carried their resolve into the second half and there was drama in the 58th minute as Moralez tried to catch Sebastien Frey off his line.
The French goalkeeper backpedalled and tipped the ball to safety but the hosts remained firmly on track for an equaliser.
When Federico Peluso started a promising counter-attack, substitute Giuseppe De Luca came up short, and Cristian Raimondi spurned a gilt-edged opportunity by volleying wide from close range.
Frey had been impressive throughout but his resolve would be sorely tested when he lost a defender in the 86th minute.
Left-back Moretti had picked up an innocuous booking shortly after the break, but there were to be no complaints when he elbowed Moralez to receive a second yellow card and his marching orders.
But Frey steeled himself, repelling both a dangerous strike from German Denis and Raimondi's tricky follow-up to cling onto three invaluable points.
Italian Serie A