Sassuolo claim vital victory
Last Updated: 24/11/13 5:23pm
Domenico Berardi of Sassuolo celebrates
Sassuolo clinched their third win of the season with a hard-fought triumph over Atalanta on Sunday afternoon.
Simone Zaza put the hosts on their way in the 63rd minute before Domenico Berardi made it 2-0 soon after.
The result was impressive considering Sassuolo, who have the worst defensive line in Serie A, kept a clean sheet despite playing down to 10 men from the 76th minute after defender Luca Antei was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The win has lifted Sassuolo to 15th position, three points clear of the relegation zone, while Atalanta have dropped to 10th place.
The visitors went into the encounter at the Citta del Tricolore stadium looking for only their second win on the road this season.
Atalanta had the first chance in the 17th minute when Luca Cigarini's 30-yard shot was kept out by Sassuolo goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo.
Before half-time, Atalanta goalkeeper Andrea Consigli was forced to palm over the crossbar Antei's powerful header from Francesco Magnanelli's cross.
Sassuolo picked up where they left off after the re-start and went ahead shortly after the hour mark.
Luca Marrone spotted Zaza in the six-yard box and the striker smashed the ball past Consigli.
Atalanta had little time to react as Sassuolo struck again four minutes later.
Marrone, once again acting as provider, found Berardi in the area and the forward hit the ball into the bottom right hand corner of goal to score his seventh goal of the season.
Atalanta were given a helping hand when the referee handed Antei his marching orders for a harsh foul on Maxi Moralez.
In the 81st minute, Pegolo made a fantastic save to clear German Denis' 10-yard attempt.
With four minutes to go, Denis headed Lionel Scaloni's cross just wide in what proved a frustrating afternoon for Atalanta.
Italian Serie A