Zapata keeps Atalanta's Champions League ambitions alive with 3-1 Lazio win

Milan (AFP) –


Duvan Zapata continued his goal-scoring streak as Atalanta came from behind to beat Lazio 3-1 on Sunday to keep their push for a first-ever Champions League qualification on track.

The side from Bergamo are comfortably fourth and move to within one point of third-placed Inter Milan who were held to their third consecutive stalemate on Saturday with a goalless draw at Udinese.

Marco Parolo had opened the scoring for Lazio after just three minutes in the Stadio Olimpico but Colombian ace Zapata hit back on 22 minutes for his sixth goal in eight games.

Thomas Castagne added a second just before the hour mark with Lazio's Brazilian defender Wallace turning into his own net after 76 minutes.

The battle for Champions League football remains tight with six teams in the running for the final two places.

Champions Juventus are assured of a berth with a 19-point lead on second-placed Napoli, who host Cagliari later Sunday, and are also positioned for top-tier European football next season.

Roma are fifth, four points behind Atalanta, before Claudio Ranieri's side travel to Genoa later on Sunday, with Torino a further point back in sixth after a 1-1 draw against Juventus on Friday.

AC Milan are also distantly in the chase before hosting Bologna on Sunday, as they are seventh -- six point off fourth place -- with Lazio a further point behind in eighth.

Atalanta had the worst possible start when Parolo scored off a rebound minutes into the game.

- Zapata on form -

Zapata threatened early on sending a shot over the bar but made no mistake at the second time of asking by latching onto a Remo Freuler cross to fire in.

The Colombian has scored one goal more than Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo, with 22 in 35 games, and is three short of league top scorer Fabio Quagliarella of Sampdoria.

Atalanta stretched their unbeaten run in Serie A to ten games and are now riding high before they return to Rome again on May 15 for the Coppa Italia final, again against Lazio.

Lazio's Champions League hopes, however, have faded with Simone Inzaghi's side seven points adrift of top four with the Europa League also at risk.

Elsewhere, Parma were held 3-3 at home by Sampdoria with Quagliarella scoring a brace for the Genoa side to extend his lead on top of the Serie A scorers to 25 goals.

Frosinone meanwhile join Chievo in Serie B next season after a 2-2 draw at Sassuolo. The side from outside Rome are ten points behind Udinese in 17th with three games left to play.