Atalanta BC are third in Serie A and a point behind AC Milan in second after a 1-1 draw away at AS Roma on Thursday that could have moved them behind leaders Inter Milan in the standings.
Ruslan Malinovsky opened the scoring after 26 minutes from a Robin Gosens assist and things were going well for Gian Piero Gasperini's men until the Germany international was sent off for two second-half bookings on 69 minutes.
Just six minutes after Atalanta were reduced to 10 men, Roma equalized through Bryan Cristante after he was teed up by Roger Ibanez and had the remaining 15 minutes to find a second goal at Stadio Olimpico.
The hosts were unable to level things up and Ibanez was instead ejected for two quick-fire bookings at the death as Roma remain in fifth.
This will feel like two points dropped for Atalanta after they created much more than the home side only to be pegged back after going down to 10 men. Although a draw on the road is not the worst result, the Orobici might have been able to see it out had it remained 11 vs. 11 -- presumably saving Juventus' Andrea Agnelli from plenty of frustration after his failed Super League venture this week.
Nice for Napoli
With Napoli and Lazio in action just after Roma-Atalanta, the result at Stadio Olimpico opened the door for Gennaro Gattuso's men to close the gap on the European candidates against the other Roman outfit. Napoli were a 5-2 winner vs. Lazio on Thursday and now sit just in fifth place, two points behind Juventus and Atalanta.
The red card really feels like it was a turning point with Atalanta faring well with him on the pitch and out-shooting Roma on target over the 90 minutes. However, it took just six minutes for the one-man advantage to tell, and the goal conceded ended up costing La Dea two points.
Had Atalanta hung on for the win, they would have overtaken Milan in second and gone clear of Juventus too, However, the draw keeps the Turin giants within sight of second, even if fellow Super League breakaway club Inter Milan remain clear by 10 points as we approach the end of the season.