ROME, Dec 8 (Reuters) - First half goals from German Denis and Federico Peluso were enough for Atalanta to break a run of three straight league losses as they beat Parma 2-1 in Serie A on Saturday.
Atalanta took the lead with only four minutes gone through the impressive German Denis, who scored his sixth goal of the season when he found himself free in a packed Parma area and met Ezequiel Schelotto's pinpoint cross with a header.
Parma responded and came close to equalising on a number of occasions but Federico Peluso doubled Atalanta's lead seven minutes from the end of the first half, tapping home the rebound from Denis' smartly driven shot.
Amauri pulled a deserved goal back for Parma right before half-time with a typically towering header from Marco Marchionni's deep cross, giving Roberto Donadoni's side hope they could get something out of the game.
They could have equalised three times in the second half, with Gabriel Paletta somehow heading the easiest chance wide 67 minutes after being left completely free only yards from the Atalanta goal.
However they couldn't capitalise on their pressure and Atalanta held on to leapfrog their opponents into eighth place on 21 points, equal with AC Milan, while Parma dropped down to ninth a point behind.
In Saturday's late game sixth-placed AS Roma will be looking to put pressure on the European places when they take on title-challenging Fiorentina at the Olympic Stadium in Rome (1945 GMT). (Editing by Tom Pilcher; firstname.lastname@example.org; +44 20 7542 7933; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com; ; )