Pessina breaks Atalanta hearts – The Hindu


Matteo Pessina grabbed the equaliser to help Hellas Verona hold his high-flying parent club Atalanta 1-1 in Serie A on Saturday.

Atalanta moved level on points (71) with second-placed Inter Milan, but is six points adrift of Serie A leader Juventus.

Pessina, on loan, scored just before the hour-mark in Verona, minutes after Colombian striker Duvan Zapata had put the visitors ahead. Atalanta’s hopes of a first Scudetto in the team’s 112-year history are all but over with four games left to play.

Promoted Verona, in ninth, is coached by ex-Croatia midfielder Ivan Juric, who played under current Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini in Genoa and was his assistant at Inter Milan and then Palermo.

Atalanta threatened early on, with Mario Pasalic, who performed a hat-trick against Brescia recently, forcing a save from Marco Silvestri. Zapata came close before the break, before getting his chance five minutes into the second half. He made no mistake this time, pouncing on a blunder by Koray Gunter and blasting past Silvestri.

It was Zapata’s 18th goal in all competitions this season, and the 80th in Serie A where he has played for Atalanta, Sampdoria, Udinese and Napoli.

Four minutes later, Pessina slammed home a rebound, his seventh league goal of the season.

Sixth victory

AC Milan continued its fine form after the return from lockdown, extending its unbeaten run to eight games, including six wins, with a 5-1 win over Bologna. It moved to sixth and into the Europa League places.

Eighth-placed Sassuolo’s Europa League hopes dwindled as it was held to a 1-1 draw at 10-man Cagliari.

The results:

Serie A: Hellas Verona 1 (Pessina 59) drew with Atalanta 1 (Zapata 50); Cagliari 1 (Joao Pedro 63) drew with Sassuolo 1 (Caputo 12); AC Milan 5 (Saelemaekers 10, Calhanoglu 24, Bennacer 49, Rebic 57, Calabria 90+2) bt Bologna 1 (Tomiyasu 44).

Premier League: Norwich 0 lost to Burnley 2 (Wood 45+5, Godfrey 80-og).

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