Atalanta fights back to beat Verona and boost European hopes
MILAN (AP) — Atalanta kept alive faint hopes of qualifying for the Champions League by rallying to beat relegation-threatened Hellas Verona 3-1 in Serie A on Saturday.
Atalanta moved level with fifth-placed AC Milan, which was playing already-relegated Sampdoria later. The duo were four points below the top four.
Verona remained level on points with 17th-placed Spezia.
Atalanta lost its past two league matches without scoring and it found itself behind again in the 11th minute when Darko Lazović ran onto a Filippo Terracciano throughball and fired an angled drive into the bottom left corner.
But Davide Zappacosta levelled 11 minutes later with a powerful strike from outside the area.
Verona gifted the lead early in the second half. Goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipò tried to dribble past Mario Pašalić inside his own penalty area and the Atalanta midfielder stole the ball off him and placed it into an empty net.
Rasmus Højlund all but sealed the match in the 62nd minute with another ferocious strike from outside the area, although Verona hit the woodwork twice late on.
ALL BUT DOWN
Cremonese was all but mathematically relegated after it was humiliated at home by Bologna 5-1.
That left it six points from safety. A point for Spezia at fellow struggler Lecce on Sunday would be enough to condemn Cremonese to Serie B, alongside bottom club Sampdoria.
Marko Arnautović, Lewis Ferguson and Stefan Posch netted in the first half for Bologna and Riccardo Orsolini and Nicola Sansone completed the rout. Orsolini was sent off in the 73rd following a second yellow card.
Daniel Ciofani scored a stoppage-time consolation.
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Daniella Matar, The Associated Press