Parma 0-0 Atalanta: Gialloblu earn point on return to action
It was a game with plenty of effort and determination but lacking in any real quality, with Atalanta coach Edy Reja and Parma forward Cristian Rodriguez were both sent to the stands in the second half in two separate incidents.
The away side looked to impose themselves from the start and began moving the ball crisply in midfield.
Parma responded with an optimistic shot from Silvestre Varela that flew over the bar from 25 yards and from then on the game slowed down and Atalanta’s early pressing faded. Both side’s seemed content to get plenty of men behind the ball.
Cristian Rodriguez showed some good flexibility and skill to backheel a cross towards goal in the 20th minute but Marco Sportiello in the Atalanta goal had it covered.
Atalanta then had a potentially dangerous counter but could not find the final cross when they broke down the right flank and likewise Parma’s Massimo Gobbi had a cross cleared by the Nerazzurri defenders.
Ishak Belfodil displayed some nifty footwork to beat his markers before firing at Sportiello from 20 yards.
The home side were becoming increasingly dominant in midfield and restricted Atalanta to sporadic counter attacks. McDonald Mariga went close to opening the scoring when his long-range effort trickled just wide in the 35th minute.
Mauricio Pinilla rose well to direct a header towards goal but it was comfortably saved by Antonio Mirante in the Parma goal.
The Gialloblu continued to have the better of the possession as the first half drew to a close but they were struggling to create any clear-cut chances against a well-organized opponent.
Both coached made changes in the beginning of the second half with Andrea Coda replacing McDonald Mariga for the home side and young attacker Marco D’Alessandro coming on for the visitors.
D’Alessandro was involved straight away, winning a corner for his side and then whipping in a dangerous ball in the penalty area but nobody was able to get a touch on it.
The second half began in a much more even manner with the Nerazzurri looking to come out of their shells.
Cristian Rodriguez was unlucky not to open the scoring when the on loan attacker unleashed a thunderous effort near the hour mark. Sportiello did well to tip it over the bar.
There was controversy shortly after when Atalanta coach Edy Reja was sent to the stands for appearently something he said to the referee.
Belfodil dinked a cross to the back post but it was just too high for Rodriguez to get his head to. The Gialloblu were then thwarted again by Sportiello who cleared from Belfodil when Coda had played him on.
Substitute Andrea Coda had a couple of long range attempts but Sportiello as ever was able to save them and Mirante did well to get down low to prevent a D’Alessandro effort from sneaking in.
The match ended on a sour note for Roberto Donadoni’s men when Cristian Rodriguez was sent off for a second bookable offense. That slowed down Parma’s attacking impetus and both sided had to settle for a point.