With Cagliari, Torino and Chievo all registering priceless wins, they climb above Siena who slip to 18th place with three games remaining.

Siena had only themselves to blame at the Stadio Azzurri D'Italia as they missed an early penalty and had two players sent off late on.

Luca Ariatti put Atalanta ahead after just 12 minutes before Daniele Corvia wasted a chance to level with a penalty miss in the 33rd minute.

Simone Vergassola did equalise with another spot-kick three minutes in the second half, but a wonder goal from Christian Vieri and a late Morris Carrozzieri header won it for Atalanta.

The visitors' misery was complete when Valerio Bertotto and Do Carmo Nieto Alberto both saw red in the final seconds, the latter for a second yellow card.

Siena had started the brighter of the two teams, having their first sight of goal in the third minute when Leandro Rinaudo headed just wide.

At the other end, Fernando Tissone blazed high and wide in the 11th minute, but the opening goal was just seconds away.

Claudio Rivalta delivered a precise cross for Ariatti to head home.

Siena did not recover as Atalanta took control of the game.

They might have had a second in the 19th minute as Giulio Migliaccio headed on to the bar from another Rivalta cross.

At the other end a superb cross from Mario Frick found Corvia but his header was off target.

Siena looked to have been handed a way back into the game when Carrozzieri was guilty of a handball inside the area, but Corvia's spot-kick came back off the post.

Atalanta immediately went back on the attack with Riccardo Zampagna's right-footed shot forcing a fine save from Alex Manninger.

With the interval looming, Rinaudo headed wide from Valerio Bertotto's cross.

The second half opened with Siena levelling the scores. Gianpaolo Bellini brought down Alberto and Vergassola made him pay with a spot-kick high into the centre of the net.

Siena were visibly lifted by the goal and almost grabbed a second when Ezio Brevi hit the post with a header after Alberto crossed.

Rinaudo then fired narrowly wide before Bertotto sent a shot over from the outside of the area.

However, Atalanta dealt them another blow when substitute Vieri scored in the 65th minute.

The former Italy international struck a superb left-footed shot from a huge distance that left Manninger rooted to the spot.

Siena continued to create chances but Luca Antonini headed wide and Alex Calderoni was not troubled until he was required to save Daniele Gastaldello's 75th minute shot.

At the other end, Vieri missed a good chance as he blazed high and wide from close range in the 77th minute.

As the clock ticked down, Siena's afternoon took a turn for the worse.

Alberto collected his second yellow card in the 89th minute and moments later, Carrozzieri headed in Davide Bombardini to make sure of the win.

However, there was still time for Bertotto to earn a straight red card for something said to the referee.