Atalanta's Italian coach Gian Piero Gasperini

Milan (AFP) - Atalanta consolidated their position in Serie A’s Champions League positions on Sunday with a hard-fought 4-1 win at Genoa.

Charles De Ketelaere and Teun Koopmeiners put Atalanta ahead with 54 minutes gone of a entertaining encounter before two stoppage-time strikes from Davide Zappacosta and El Bilal Toure ensured that Atalanta will finish the weekend in fourth.

Bologna are Atalanta’s closest challengers, three points back, after thumping Lecce 4-0 and taking fifth place from Roma, who were beaten 4-2 by league leaders Inter Milan on Saturday.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta have won their last four Serie A matches and are unbeaten in league and cup in 2024.

Gasperini will be cheered by substitute Toure scoring on his Atalanta debut after spending the entire season out of action with a serious knee injury.

Mali forward Toure became Atalanta’s record signing at the end of July when he was bought for a reported fee of 30 million euros plus add-ons from Almeria.

Promoted Genoa, who equalised through former Atalanta midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi shortly before Koopmeiners’ decisive free-kick, are 12th after their ninth defeat of the season.

However Alberto Gilardino’s side are 10 points away from the relegation zone, and on the evidence of Sunday’s display the former Italy striker should have few worries about his team confirming their Serie A status.

Thiago Motta’s Bologna strolled past Lecce 4-0, with Riccardo Orsolini netting either side of half-time after Sam Beukema tapped home the opener.

Jens Odgaard rounded off the scoring with eight minutes remaining, tucking home his first Bologna goal in confident fashion.

Bologna have won their two most recent fixtures after a four-match winless streak which looked to have harmed their top four hopes.

Two points further back in seventh are Fiorentina, who claimed their first league win of 2024 by thrashing sorry Frosinone 5-1 in Florence.