Lecce beats bottom club Spal in Serie A relegation fight

Lecce's Zan Majer, left, scores his side's 2nd goal during the Serie A soccer match between Lecce and Spal, at the Via del Mare Stadium in Lecce, Italy, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (Donato Fasano/Lapresse via AP)

MILAN — Substitute Mario Pasalic scored a stunning goal seconds after coming off the bench as Atalanta beat Roma 2-1 in Serie A on Sunday in a direct fight for a Champions League place.

Pasalic curled the winning goal into the top right corner in the 59th minute. It was his first touch, 19 seconds after replacing Duvan Zapata.

Atalanta consolidated fourth place and the final Champions League qualifying berth, extending its advantage over fifth-place Roma to six points.

The visitors took the lead on the stroke of halftime. Jose Luis Palomino failed to control a back pass and Edin Dzeko stole the ball and fired past Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini.

Palomino atoned for his error five minutes after the break, tapping in at the far post after a corner was nodded on by Berat Djimsiti.

It was the 30-year-old defender’s first goal of the season and only the 10th of his career.

RELEGATION FIGHT

Lecce beat Spal 2-1 to boost its chances of avoiding relegation.

Bottom club Spal’s troubles deepened as it slipped eight points from safety.

It was Lecce’s third straight win but it remained three points above the drop zone after Genoa won 3-0 at nine-man Bologna.

In Lecce, the home side took the lead at the end of the first half when it was awarded a penalty for Kevin Bonifazi’s trip on Zan Majer. Marco Mancosu successfully struck the ball into the top left corner.

Andrea Petagna headed in a corner two minutes after the break to equalize but Majer scored his first Serie A goal to restore Lecce’s lead for good in the 66th minute.

STUNNING GOAL

Antonio Sanabria scored a spectacular goal to help Genoa to its first away win of the season.

Sanabria scored Genoa’s second, just before halftime. The Paraguay forward started his run deep inside his own half and dribbled more than 70 metres before firing into the bottom left corner.

Adama Soumaoro had got the opener in the 28th.

Bologna played nearly an hour with 10 men after midfielder Jerdy Schouten was shown a straight red card for a studs-up tackle on Valon Behrami. The referee initially gave a yellow but changed his mind after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.

The home side ended the match with nine men when defender Stefano Denswil was given a second yellow card for a foul on Stefano Sturaro a minute from time. Domenico Criscito converted the resulting penalty.

Genoa moved a point behind city rival Sampdoria, which occupies the last safety position and hosts Fiorentina on Sunday.

Bologna, which had won its previous three matches, remained seventh.

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