German Denis struck a hat-trick as Atalanta cruised past nine-man Roma with a thumping Serie A win in Bergamo today. Guido Marilungo put the hosts ahead early on and Denis made it 2-0 after 19 minutes. Fabio Borini reduced the deficit before half-time, but Denis struck his second shortly after the restart.
Roma's hopes of a comeback suffered a blow when the team's leading scorer Daniel Osvaldo was sent off with 36 minutes to go. Denis completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute and Roma's misery was complete when they were reduced to nine men, substitute Marco Cassetti seeing red for dissent eight minutes from time.
The result moved the Bergamaschi to 11th place as Roma's top-four hopes suffered a blow. The visitors went into the game looking for their first win away from home since before Christmas, but struggled to make an impact without suspended captain Francesco Totti.
Atalanta were unlucky not to go in front in the third minute when Marilungo's drive beat Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, but hit the far post. The home side were rewarded in the 10th minute when Denis fed Marilungo in the area and he beat Stekelenburg when one-on-one with the keeper. Atalanta added their second when Maximiliano Moralez set up Denis in the box and he cut in to slide his shot home.
The visitors finally found a way through before half-time when Atalanta's defence failed to clear Rodrigo Taddei's cross in the area and the ball fell to Borini, who gave Andrea Consigli no chance with a powerful effort that flew into the net.
The home side restored their two-goal cushion two minutes after the restart when Marilungo played in Denis and he struck the ball past Stekelenburg. Osvaldo was then shown a straight red for reacting to a bad foul from Atalanta's Luca Cigarini.
Denis completed a great afternoon for the hosts when he got on the end of Cigarini's assist and struck the ball from 12 yards past Stekelenburg. And there was still time for Cassetti to be dismissed as Roma's discipline deserted them.