AAP Soccer

Atalanta win to go fourth in Serie A

By AAP Newswire

Atalanta have climbed into the Italian Serie A's final Champions League place as two late goals secured a 2-0 home win against Udinese.

Marten de Roon broke the deadlock for Gian Piero Gasperini's side when he converted an 81st-minute penalty and Mario Pasalic made sure of maximum points when his deflected shot found the bottom corner four minutes later.

Atalanta, who leapfrogged Roma into fourth place, have never qualified for the Champions League.

They are one point above Roma and three better off than Torino and AC Milan with four games to go, while eighth-placed Lazio, four points behind, are still in the race.

"These three points are worth a lot," Dutch international defender de Roon said.

"We watched the others [Milan and Torino] play the other day and it was tough for us today. In the end we scored but we had to battle out.

"The team is motivated and we are confident as we play to get into the Champions league...We are at Lazio [next weekend] and it will be a crucial game."

Udinese's third defeat in four matches has left them one place and four points above the relegation zone.

Atalanta will play their last two home games of the season in Reggio Emilia, borrowing the Mapei Stadium from Sassuolo, as their Bergamo stadium undergoes renovations.

Domenico Berardi scored the only goal as Sassuolo won 1-0 at Fiorentina to move up three places to 10th.

Berardi fired Sassuolo ahead in the 37th minute from inside the area before Fiorentina midfielder Jordan Veretout's penalty soon after was saved by visiting goalkeeper Andrea Consigli.

Consigli twice denied Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa in the second half as Sassuolo extended their unbeaten run to five matches.