Atalanta beats Napoli 2-0 in Serie A to stay in hunt for 3rd

DANIELLA MATAR (Associated Press)
The Associated Press

MILAN (AP) -- Atalanta beat Napoli 2-0 in Serie A on Thursday to keep up the pressure on Inter Milan in the fight for third place.

Mario Pasalic and Robin Gosens scored in the second half to extend Atalanta's club record tally to 82 league goals this season, in 29 matches.

It was Atalanta's seventh successive Serie A win and saw Gian Piero Gasperini's team move back to within four points of Inter, which beat Brescia 6-0 on Wednesday.

''All the team, with no exception, produced an amazing performance against a very strong opponent,'' Gasperini said. We showed our maturity, we showed that we know how to defend - I would say that we defended very well, because we conceded very little to a strong attack like Napoli's.''

It halted a run of five straight league wins for Napoli, which also won the Italian Cup last month.

Napoli remained sixth, three points below Roma which lost 2-0 against relegation-threatened Udinese. It is 15 points behind Atalanta and the final Champions League spot.

''You can make mistakes, but I didn't like the attitude,'' Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso said. ''Too many people speaking, and we have to improve in these things, because we have nine matches to play and if some of my players thinks that these nine matches will be leisure trips, they are completely mistaken.''

Despite it being a meeting between two of the in-form teams in Serie A, chances were few and far between in the first half.

Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina was forced off with an injury after clattering into his own teammate. He was replaced by Alex Meret.

Meret was let down by his defense three minutes into the second half when they left Pasalic unmarked to head in a cross from Alejandro ''Papu'' Gomez.

Atalanta doubled its lead eight minutes later as it counterattacked rapidly before spreading the ball from right to left in the penalty area for Gosens to finish off with a diagonal shot into the bottom right corner.

Arkadiusz Milik had a goal ruled out for Atalanta for offside late on.

ROMA'S HOPES FADE

Roma's hopes of a top-four finish all but evaporated on a disappointing evening for the capital side.

Roma is now 12 points below Atalanta in fourth.

Kevin Lasagna fired in Rodrigo De Paul's wayward shot to give Udinese a surprise lead in the 12th minute.

Roma then had to play more than an hour with 10 men after Diego Perotti was sent off for a lunge on Udinese defender Rodrigo Becao.

Udinese sealed the win 12 minutes from time when De Paul cut the ball back for Ilija Nestorovski to double the lead.

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