Atalanta end Fiorentina drought to consolidate fourth place
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Ruslan Malinovskiy helped Atalanta consolidate fourth place in Serie A with the winner in a 2-1 win at Fiorentina that ended their 27-year away winless run against the Tuscan club.
Federico Chiesa's scorcher just after half an hour gave mid-table Fiorentina hope of another win over Atalanta, whom they eliminated from the Italian Cup at their Stadio Artemio Franchi last month.
But Duvan Zapata tapped in four minutes after the break to level the scores before Ukrainian Malinovsky came off the bench to seal victory with 18 minutes left, giving Atalanta their first win away at the 'Viola' since 1993.
Gian Piero Gasperini's side pull three points clear of fifth-placed Roma in the race for the Champions League following the capital club's 3-2 home defeat to Bologna on Friday, but are still eight points behind in-form Lazio in third.
"These are three very important, key points. We haven't won here for 27 years, and we were up a against an in-form team," said Gasperini.
Atalanta host Roma next weekend before they play at home against Valencia in the Champions League last-16, having qualified for the competition for the first time this season.
"We have to exploit Roma's difficulties and our home advantage in the next match," added Zapata.
"If we do well against the 'Giallorossi' it will set us up for the Champions League match against Valencia."
- Torino in freefall -
Moreno Longo started his reign as Torino coach with a 3-1 home defeat to Sampdoria, with the struggling Genoa club's goals coming in a nine-minute second-half spell.
Torino, in 12th, have now lost four games in a row, conceding 16 goals, and could fall further off the Europa League pace by the end of the weekend.
Simone Verdi had put the hosts ahead 10 minutes after the break with their first goal in their last four games.
The on-loan Napoli forward latched onto an Alex Berenguer through ball and managed to scruff a finish past outrushing Emil Audero for his first goal in the Torino jersey.
But Gaston Ramirez sparked Samp's revival with half an hour to go with a perfect curling free kick.
And the Uruguayan scored again five minutes later, rushing through to put his side ahead after Fabio Quagliarella had chested down the ball into his path.
Torino's woes were compounded when Armando Izzo was sent off for bringing Quagliarella down in the box, with the veteran forward stepping up to slot in the penalty.
Claudio Ranieri's Sampdoria are now 16th, seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Leaders Juventus travel to Verona later on Saturday with Cristiano Ronaldo bidding to extend his scoring streak to 10 consecutive league games.
Verona are on a seven-game unbeaten run and held third-placed Lazio to a goalless draw in Rome midweek.
Second-placed Inter Milan go to head-to-head with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's AC Milan in Sunday's derby clash at the San Siro.
© 2020 AFP