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Pasalic double gets Atalanta back to winning ways at Brescia


Milan (AFP) – Mario Pasalic scored twice to get Atalanta back to winning ways with a 3-0 Serie A victory in a Lombardy derby at Mario Balotelli’s struggling Brescia on Saturday.

Pasalic nodded in the opener on 26 minutes, before grabbing a second after an hour with Josip Illicic firing in a late third to end Atalanta’s four-match winless run in the league.

The Bergamo side, boosted by claiming their first ever Champions League win against Dinamo Zagreb in midweek, are now level on points with fourth-placed Cagliari and Roma, who play later this weekend.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side had not won in Serie A since their 7-1 victory over Udinese a month ago.

Italy forward Balotelli returned to the Brescia line-up having being dropped last weekend for his lack of commitment in training.

But apart from hitting the crossbar on 55 minutes, Balotelli rarely threatened as the promoted side fell to their sixth consecutive defeat to stay rooted to the bottom of the table.

The match was the first since the publication of a letter on Friday signed by the country’s 20 top-flight clubs saying ‘basta’ (that’s enough) to racism in Italian stadiums.

Balotelli, who returned to Italy to play for his hometown club this season, has been targeted by racist abuse this term.

Atalanta dominated, with Pasalic connecting with a Timothy Castagne cross to head in early on.

The midfielder then scored his fourth goal of the season, having also netted against Manchester City and Udinese, with a back-heel flick from an Ilicic cross.

Slovenian Ilicic broke through for the third two minutes into injury time.

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