Gaston Pereiro Shines as Cagliari Stun 10-men Atalanta

Relegation-threatened Cagliari stunned Atalanta at the Gewiss Stadium, picking up a massive 2-1 victory in Bergamo to escape from the drop zone. And while the Sardinians reached safety for the first time in a while, the Gian Piero Gasperini’s men have thrown their top-four hopes into doubt.

After four consecutive Serie A wins over Cagliari, Atalanta lost to Walter Mazzarri’s side at home, maintaining their form wobble in Bergamo. La Dea are now winless in their last three league home matches (D1, L2) after winning two in a row at the Gewiss Stadium beforehand. 

Meanwhile, Cagliari brought a run of back-to-back Serie A games without winning (D1, L1), but more importantly, they leapfrogged Venezia in the standings. Mazzarri’s men have now won two of their last three away league fixtures (L1) after going winless in their opening nine top-flight travels. 

Atalanta dominated proceedings early in the game, enjoying plenty of possession and keeping Cagliari deep inside their own half. However, they found goalscoring opportunities hard to come by, barely putting Alessio Cragno to the test. 

Following a goalless first half, Cagliari took an unexpected lead through Gaston Pereiro. The Uruguayan midfielder turned home Dalbert’s cross only seven minutes after the break, paving the wave for the visitors’ triumph. 

Almost straight from kick-off, an under-cooked backpass forced Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso into tackling Pereiro down to the ground for a straight red. Despite being down to ten men, La Dea hit back through Jose Luis Palomino just after the hour mark. 

The Argentine defender latched onto the rebound following’s Cragno stunning save to deny Duvan Zapata’s attempt to restore parity. But Atalanta’s celebrations were short-lived as Pereiro scored his second of the game in the 68th minute.

Cagliari’s efforts to cling on to a hard-earned lead were unrelenting in the final stages. Despite bringing in marquee January signing Jeremie Boga, Atalanta failed to return into the game for the second time. Gasperini will have another week to get his team back on the rails before their upcoming clash against Juventus