Tatarusanu heroics help Fiorentina deny Atalanta

Romanian goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu joined Fiorentina in 2014

Goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu performed heroics as Fiorentina held on for a point in a thrilling scoreless draw at high-flying Atalanta on Sunday.

Sitting fourth in the table ahead of Inter Milan, Lazio and AC Milan, Atalanta have their fans dreaming of European football next season.

But despite a dominant display in spring-like conditions in Bergamo, Gian Piero Gasperini's men had to settle for a point after the Romanian Tatarusanu pulled off a string of crucial saves for the visitors in the closing stages.

The result leaves Atalanta fourth, 14 points behind leaders Juventus ahead of their trip to Udinese later Sunday when the champions can take their lead over second-placed Roma to 10 points.

Roma's chances of fighting for their first title since 2001 were torpedoed by a 2-1 defeat to Napoli on Saturday when Belgium midfielder Dries Mertens hit a brace.

Fiorentina are eighth, 14 points off the lead and eight points behind Lazio in the last Europa League qualifying spot.

Atalanta's fourth draw of the campaign means Lazio can jump up to fourth with a win at Bologna in Sunday's late game.

Atalanta dominated for long spells at the Azzurri d'Italia stadium.

After seeing Alejandro Gomez and Andrea Petagna come close for Atalanta in a busy opening half, Tatarusanu palmed a deflected Gomez effort round the post.

At the other end, Etrit Berisha’s first real save came when he got down at the near post to thwart Cristian Tello.

A Nikola Kalinic bicycle kick might have put Fiorentina in front on the hour but it was ruled out for offside.

Atalanta bombarded the Fiorentina goal in the final quarter hour but when Petagna flicked Gomez's delivery towards goal Tatarusanu dramatically plucked it off the goalline.

On the follow-up Tatarusanu fingertipped Andrea Masiello's header to safety as it headed towards the top corner.