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Fiorentina fight back to earn draw against Parma

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By Reuters

By Alasdair Mackenzie

ROME (Reuters) – Fiorentina missed out on the chance to draw level on points with seventh-placed Napoli as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Parma in Serie A on Sunday.

Gervinho latched onto a long ball and dinked a neat finish over the goalkeeper to give the visitors a half time lead at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

But a bullet header from midfielder Gaetano Castrovilli drew Fiorentina level midway through the second half.

The draw means Vincenzo Montella’s side remain eighth in the table on 16 points, with Parma just two points behind them in 10th place.

In the early kick-off, Cagliari stunned 10-man Atalanta with a 2-0 win in Bergamo that lifted the Sardinian side level with their fourth-placed hosts on 21 points.

Mario Pasalic’s own goal put the visitors in front before Atalanta were reduced to 10 men when Josip Ilicic saw red for kicking out at an opponent, and Christian Oliva’s second half strike secured the points.

Hellas Verona’s 2-1 win over Brescia was overshadowed by an incident in the second half when Mario Balotelli threatened to walk off the pitch after receiving alleged racial abuse from home fans at the Stadio Bentegodi.

He was convinced to continue and scored a sublime goal with five minutes remaining, but it was not enough to cancel out strikes from Verona players Eddie Salcedo and Matteo Pessina as the hosts moved into the top half of the table.

Elsewhere, Udinese came from behind to earn a 3-1 win at Genoa two days after sacking their coach Igor Tudor, and Sassuolo fought back twice to earn a 2-2 draw at Lecce.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, editing by Pritha Sarkar)