Jose Luis Palomino replied to a Rolando Mandragora opener, as Crotone and Atalanta struggled to deal with waterlogged pitch.
The Orobici were still in the running for a top six spot, playing in the Coppa Italia semi-final and preparing for Thursday’s Europa League Round of 32 clash with Borussia Dortmund. Papu Gomez missed last week’s win at Chievo and was not risked for this trip to Calabria, with Luca Rizzo injured. Walter Zenga’s side were unbeaten in three and fresh from a surprise 1-1 draw away to Inter, but Mario Sampirisi and Marco Tumminello were sidelined.
Atalanta had won five of their previous six meetings with Crotone, home and away, drawing the other.
It had been raining for two days in Calabria and the pitch was waterlogged, making conditions very difficult indeed. Etrit Berisha spilled an early Bruno Martella snapshot from distance, as it bounced in a puddle right in front of him.
Berisha did better when flying to fingertip an Andrea Nalini scorcher out from the near top corner, while Josip Ilicic’s free kick tested Alex Cordaz and a deflection took Marten De Roon’s effort inches wide with the goalkeeper stranded.
Marco Capuano made a decisive block on Andreas Cornelius in the box and after the restart some desperate defending prevented Leonardo Spinazzola and Ilicic completing their give-and-go.
Cordaz needed a one-handed save to stop Andrea Masiello at the back post on a touched-on corner and Federico Ricci tested Berisha from distance.
Crotone broke the deadlock at the end of a period of pressure, as Arlind Ajeti knocked down a chipped cross at the back post and Berisha spilled it, allowing Mandragora to tap in from close range.
However, Atalanta finally made one of their many corners count, as Remo Freuler and Masiello efforts were charged down, it fell to Jose Luis Palomino for his first Serie A goal.
The visitors wanted to win it and Cordaz smothered a Cristante snapshot.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk