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Atalanta beat Roma in 6-pointer for UCL spots

Atalanta’s Mario Pasalic got the winner within seconds of coming off the bench as they took a huge step towards Champions League qualification by beating Roma 2-1 in Serie A on Saturday.

Edin Dzeko fired the fifth-placed visitors in front at the end of the first half, but Atalanta, who are fourth, found a deserved equaliser through Jose Palomino early in the second.

However, Pasalic stole the show in the 59th minute by curling a sensational strike into the top corner 19 seconds after coming on as a substitute.

The win sees Gian Piero Gasperini’s side take control in the race for a top-four finish as Atalanta have 45 points, six ahead of Roma with a better head-to-head record than the capital club.

Earlier, 18th-placed Genoa recorded their first away win of the season with a 3-0 victory at Bologna that moved them within a point of the safety zone as the hosts finished with nine men following the expulsions of Jerdy Schouten and Stefano Denswil.

Lecce also boosted their survival hopes by moving above Sampdoria into 16th place with their third consecutive league victory, defeating SPAL 2-1 at the Stadio Via del Mare on Luigi Di Biagio’s debut as coach of Serie A’s rock-bottom side.

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