Pasalic hat-trick helps Atalanta go second in Serie A

Pasalic hat-trick helps Atalanta go second in Serie A

Atalanta's Croatian midfielder Mario Pasalic celebrating with Atalanta's Gambian midfielder Ebrima Colley after scoring his team sixth goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Atalanta and Brescia
Atalanta's Croatian midfielder Mario Pasalic celebrating with Atalanta's Gambian midfielder Ebrima Colley after scoring his team sixth goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Atalanta and Brescia


Mario Pasalic scored a hat - trick as Atalanta brushed aside struggling local rivals Brescia 6- 2 to move second in Serie A on Tuesday .

Gian Piero Gasperini ’s side extended their unbeaten league run to 13 games to move six points behind leaders Juventus who visit eighth -placed Sassuolo on Wednesday .
Inter Milan and Lazio are two points behind Atalanta before they play against SPAL and Udinese respectively later this week .

Gasperini ’s side have scored 93 league goals so far this season — 26 more than eight- time reigning champions Juventus.

“ We don’ t do it to humiliate the opponent , but we try to play our game, ” said Gasperini .
“ Already last year we were the best attack in the league, this year we have surpassed ourselves , scoring many goals with many different players.
“ Playing in the Champions League has helped us and made us grow ,” added Gasperini , whose side will play Paris Saint -Germain in the last eight next month.

“ We are preparing for Paris Saint -Germain , but also want to fight to the end in Serie A .
“ I think the best way to be ready for August 12 will be to play these last five league games to the maximum .”

The game between high- scoring Atalanta and 19 th- placed Brescia was one between two neighbouring teams from cities ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

A minute ’ s silence took place before kick- off with players forming a circle with the backdrop of the music “ Rinascero, Rinascerai ” ( I will be reborn , you will be reborn ) , by Bergamo musician Roby Facchinetti .

Atalanta ’s top scorer Luis Muriel, with 17 league goals this season, watched from the stands hours after the Colombian left hospital after suffering a head injury in a fall at his home .

But his absence was not felt with Croatian Pasalic opening the scoring within two minutes at the Gewiss Stadium connecting with a Ruslan Malinovskyi cross.
Brescia hit back minutes later with Ernesto Torregrossa pouncing on Atalanta defender Mattia Caldara ’s poor clearance .

But the hosts got back into their stride and were four -goals up after half an hour with Marten De Roon , Malinovskyi and a Duvan Zapata header within a five -minute spell .

The punishment continued in the second half with Malinovskyi again setting up Pasalic to beat Lorenzo Andrenacci in the Brescia goal after 55 minutes .

The Croatian added a third three minutes later sending in Ebrima Colley ’s cross for his ninth goal this season, five of them against Brescia , having scored a brace in the away leg last November .
“ It ’s the best moment of my career ,” said Pasalic after his maiden hat - trick.
“ There are still five games left and we can do even better .

“ We have scored more than 90 goals in Serie A , we have shown against Juventus ( 2 -2 draw) that we can match even the strongest teams . ”
Nikolas Spalek pulled a goal back for Brescia who move closer to Serie B next season.

Atalanta , however, are having one of the best seasons in the club ’ s 112 -year history with a berth in the Champions League quarter -finals in their debut season.

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