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Zapata brace revives Atalanta’s European ambitions

Milan (AFP) – Colombian striker Duvan Zapata scored a late brace in a 3-1 comeback win for Atalanta against Parma on Sunday to revive the Bergamo side’s Champions League ambitions.

Atalanta move into Europa League calculation in fifth, three points behind AC Milan, who occupy the final Champions League berth, but who fell 1-0 at Sampdoria on Saturday.

Roma are one point behind Atalanta and can move ahead when they host second-placed Napoli later Sunday.

Gervinho had put Parma ahead after eight minutes at home, with Matteo Scozzarella pouncing on a Mario Pasalic error allowing the Ivorian to break through and slot in his 10th league goal this season.

But Croatian Pasalic made up for his early mistake by grabbing the equaliser on 24 minutes off a Papu Gomez cross with the Argentine having a role in all three Atalanta goals.

Gomez also passed to Timothy Castagne who provided the assist for Zapata’s first goal after 75 minutes, with the Argentine then rolling the ball across for the winner four minutes into injury time.

Zapata, 27, has now scored 19 league goals this season, matching Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo’s haul, but two less than Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella.

Juventus, meanwhile, continued their march towards an eighth consecutive Serie A title with on-form teenager Moise Kean scoring the only goal against Empoli on Saturday.

Juventus have an 18-point lead on Napoli.

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