Mario Pasalic scored a hat trick to help Atalanta rout Venezia 4-0 on Tuesday in Serie A.
Pasalic scored his first two goals in the opening 12 minutes and added the other in the 67th, shortly after Teun Koopmeiners had netted the home team’s third.
Atalanta moved level on points with third-place Inter Milan, four points below Serie A leader Napoli. Venezia remained five points above the relegation zone.
Atalanta got off to a fast start in Bergamo and took the lead in the seventh minute when Josip Iličić threaded a pass through to Pašalić, who slotted the ball into the bottom right corner. Pašalić doubled his tally five minutes later following a one-two with Luis Muriel.
The Croatia midfielder almost got his hat trick early in the second half but Venezia goalkeeper Sergio Romero managed to block his powerful shot after another impressive pass from Iličić.
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Koopmeiners extended Atalanta’s lead in the 57th when he drilled the ball into the bottom right corner. Pašalić completed his hat trick 10 minutes later, gathering the ball with his back to goal before shooting into the back of the net.
Pašalić almost got an assist minutes earlier, but Muriel’s attempt came off the base of the left post.
SCARE FOR JUVE
Juventus survived a scare to win 2-0 at last-place Salernitana. Paulo Dybala and Álvaro Morata scored and Juventus remained seventh, seven points below fourth-place Atalanta and the last Champions League qualifying spot.
Juventus was desperate for a win after being roundly jeered by its fans as it lost at home to Atalanta 1-0 over the weekend. That came four days after losing at Chelsea 4-0 in the Champions League.
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It dominated from the start at Salernitana, where it had 80% possession in the first half, but only had one goal to show for it.
That came in the 21st minute when Dybala played a one-two with Dejan Kulusevski before placing a powerful finish into the bottom right corner.
Juventus thought it had doubled its lead seven minutes later but Giorgio Chiellini’s goal was ruled out for an offside by Moise Kean in the buildup.
Salernitana almost leveled in the 58th but Luca Ranieri’s effort came off the inside of the right post and flashed across the face of goal before going out.
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Juve doubled its lead 20 minutes from time, somewhat against the run of play. Dybala floated a ball across to the byline for Federico Bernardeschi, whose cross was cheekily flicked in by Morata at the near post.
Dybala had a chance to double his tally with the last kick of the match after Juventus was awarded a penalty when Salernitana defender Norbert Gyömbér brought down Morata. But the Argentina international slipped as he went to take the penalty and skied it over the bar.
Elsewhere, Dušan Vlahović scored his seventh goal in five matches to lead Fiorentina over Sampdoria 3-1. Hellas Verona was held to a 0-0 draw by Cagliari.