(Reuters) – Two goals from Mario Pasalic helped Atalanta to a convincing 3-0 win in Serie A at struggling regional rivals Brescia on Saturday.
The Croatian midfielder headed in from close range midway through the first half before adding his second after the break with a neat backheel flick.
Josip Ilicic’s strike then wrapped up a comfortable victory in stoppage time at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti to leave Brescia in further trouble at the bottom of the league.
Pasalic could have had a hat-trick, as his first-half header came back off the post, while Atalanta substitute Ruslan Malinovskyi was also denied by the woodwork.
Mario Balotelli was restored to the Brescia team after being dropped by coach Fabio Grosso for their trip to Roma following a training ground argument, and he had their best chance of the game when he fired a second-half shot against the crossbar.
Yet it was a deserved victory for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side which ended Atalanta’s four-match winless league run, while condemning Brescia to a sixth consecutive defeat.
The win keeps Atalanta sixth in the standings on 25 points while Brescia remain rooted to the bottom of the table with just seven points.
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Ian Chadband)