Mario Pasalic scores hat trick as Atalanta routs Venezia

Atalanta's Mario Pasalic celebrates after scoring the first goal of the game during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Atalanta and Venezia. (Spada/LaPresse via AP)

MILAN -- Mario Pasalic scored a hat trick to help Atalanta rout Venezia 4-0 Tuesday in Serie A.

Pasalic scored his first two goals in the opening 12 minutes and added the other in the 67th, shortly after Teun Koopmeiners had netted the home team's third.

Atalanta moved level on points with third-place Inter Milan, four points below Serie A leader Napoli. Venezia remained five points above the relegation zone.

Juventus was to play last-place Salernitana later and will be looking to avoid a third straight loss. Also, Hellas Verona was to host Cagliari.

Atalanta got off to a fast start in Bergamo and took the lead in the seventh minute when Josip Ilicic threaded a pass through to Pasalic, who slotted the ball into the bottom right corner. Pasalic doubled his tally five minutes later following a one-two with Luis Muriel.

The Croatia midfielder almost got his hat trick early in the second half but Venezia goalkeeper Sergio Romero managed to block his powerful shot after another impressive pass from Ilicic.

Koopmeiners extended Atalanta's lead in the 57th when he drilled the ball into the bottom right corner. Pasalic completed his hat trick 10 minutes later, gathering the ball with his back to goal before shooting into the back of the net.

Pasalic almost got an assist minutes earlier, but Muriel's attempt came off the base of the left post.

Also, Dusan Vlahovic scored his seventh goal in five matches to lead Fiorentina over Sampdoria 3-1.

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