Muslimovic helps Atalanta rescue draw with Fiorentina
( dpa )- Bosnian striker Zlatan Muslimovic scored a brace for Atalanta Saturday as the Bergamo side twice came back against visiting Fiorentina to rescue a late 2-2 draw.
Fiorentina missed their injured Romanian striker Adrian Mutu, the league's third-best scorer on 13 goals, while Atalanta played without the dismissed play maker Cristiano Doni.
Giampaolo Pazzini, acting as the guests' single scorer, and Muslimovic missed a chance each in a chilly afternoon before being both on target on the half hour.
Play maker Riccardo Montolivo fed Pazzini a low cross from the right that the young striker controlled and with a swift move cut off Daniele Capelli to stun goalkeeper Ferdinando Coppola.
The hosts took less than one minute to reply with Muslimovic bursting through a dithering defence to volley home a corner kick from the right.
After the break, Pazzini was again crucial for Fiorentina on the hour, setting up Swiss midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic for a well curled cross that Franco Semioli nodded home to put Fiorentina on 2- 1.
The hosts' attacks were rewarded on 90 minutes as Muslimovic hit again from close range finishing off a well-orchestrated counter attack on the left flank.
The Florence side remained fourth on 38 points from 22 games. They currently retain the last available Champions League berth, but face fierce competition from AC Milan, who Sunday welcome lowly Siena lying fifth on a 33-point tally they can improve through a game in hand.
Atalanta are safely seventh on 30 points and can hope to retain the last of three available UEFA Cup berths.
Title holders Inter Milan firmly command the league, looking to improve their 53 points in a late Sunday game away to Catania.
Late Saturday, second-place Roma may temporarily cut down their eight-point deficit as they welcome struggling Reggina at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.