AAP Soccer

Nine-straight for Atalanta in Serie A

By AAP Newswire

Atalanta's impressive Serie A run has continued with a 2-0 win over Sampdoria on Wednesday lifting the club to third on the ladder.

It was Atalanta's ninth win in a row which saw them leapfrog Inter Milan, who clash with Verona on Thursday.

Atalanta defender Rafael Toloi headed in a corner kick on 75 minutes and Luis Muriel struck from distance in the 85th minute, as Samp had coach Claudio Ranieri dismissed for his protests.

Ranieri's men sit five points clear of the drop zone.

Napoli won 2-1 at troubled Genoa and sit sixth, trailing Roma on goal difference after they fought back to beat Parma 2-1.

Romans and Neapolitans sit 13 points behind Inter, who fill the last available Champions League place, but Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso is still eyeing qualification despite having qualified for the Europa League by winning the Italian Cup.

Dries Mertens, the Neapolitans' best-ever scorer, found the far corner for his 124th goal before the break and saw Edoardo Goldaniga nod in the hosts' equaliser in the 49th minute before substitute Hirving Lozano (66th) fired in the winner.

"This is a team of great players, with many youngsters who can improve a lot," Gattuso said.

"But we are today (13 points from a Champions League place) and we must improve on this. What we have been doing is not enough, therefore I say we must improve our mentality."

Elsewhere, Sassuolo won 2-1 against Bologna, whose coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was red-carded for protesting during the mid-table regional derby and Torino rallied to beat second-last Brescia 3-1.

Fiorentina and Cagliari drew 0-0 in a mid-table clash, with the Florentines now eight points above Genoa, who sit third-last in the three-team drop zone. Cagliari are 11th, five points above Fiorentina.

Leaders Juventus lost 4-2 at AC Milan on Tuesday, but remain seven points clear of second-place Lazio, who were beaten 2-1 at Lecce.