Pasalic scores twice, adds assist as Atalanta routs Spezia

Atalanta's Mario Pasalic celebrates after scoring. (Stefano Nicoli/LaPresse via AP)

BERGAMO, Italy -- Midfielder Mario Pasalic scored twice and provided an assist as Atalanta rallied to rout Spezia 5-2 on Saturday, improving its poor home record in Serie A this season.

Atalanta -- which had failed to win its last three Italian league matches -- moved level with third-place Inter in the Italian league, with 25 points from 13 games. Inter has one match in hand and a better goal difference.

M'Bala Nzola put the visitors ahead in the 11th minute with Spezia's first shot of the match, slotting home from the rebound after Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso parried an effort from Daniele Verde off the crossbar.

Atalanta replied with three first-half goals.

The first one came in the 18th when Pasalic leveled from close range following a breakthrough from Davide Zappacosta down the right.

Duvan Zapata missed a penalty kick that had to be retaken due to penalty-box encroachment, and the striker did not miss his second chance with a perfectly taken shot to the top left corner in the 38th. Pasalic then made it 3-1 with a clean finish to conclude a fast counterattack led by Zapata.

Substitute Luis Muriel added his name to the scoresheet with seven minutes left with a left-footed volley from Pasalic's cross and Ukraine international Ruslan Malinovskyi made the win even more emphatic in the 89th. Nzola scored a consolation goal in added time.

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