Atalanta held to 1-1 draw at Verona in Serie A

MILAN (AP) — Atalanta’s push for second spot was hampered by a 1-1 draw at Hellas Verona in Serie A on Saturday.

Duván Zapata took advantage of a mistake to give Atalanta the lead in the 50th minute but Matteo Pessina — who is on loan from Atalanta — leveled nine minutes later.

The result left Atalanta level on 71 points with second-place Inter Milan, which visits Roma on Sunday. Italian league leader Juventus has a six-point advantage and hosts fourth-place Lazio on Monday.

AC Milan is playing Bologna later Saturday.

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Atalanta had won 11 of its last 13 league games — drawing the other two — and beat Brescia 6-2 midweek but it struggled to break Verona down.

Atalanta eventually broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half when Koray Günter lost the ball and Zapata rushed in, used his strength to hold off the Verona defender, and fired into the bottom corner.

It was Zapata’s third goal in as many matches.

But Verona was back on level terms shortly after when Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini could only parry Amir Rrahmani’s strike and Pessina fired in the rebound.

Mario Pašalić almost won it for Atalanta in stoppage time but volleyed a cross inches wide of the left post.

GOALLESS STREAK ENDED

Sassuolo dominated but could only manage a 1-1 draw at 10-man Cagliari, which scored for the first time in five matches.

The visitors created plenty of chances but put only one of them away when Francesco Caputo was left unmarked to head in at the back post after a corner was deflected toward him in the 12th minute.

Cagliari had to play most of the second half with 10 men after defender Andrea Carboni was shown a second yellow card and sent off just three minutes after the break.

However, João Pedro equalized against the run of play following a one-two with Marko Rog.

It ended Cagliari’s goalless streak of 467 minutes.

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