International Soccer - Italy

Balotelli's brace boosts Milan

Milan, Italy (Sports Network) - AC Milan rebounded from a tough week to secure a 2-0 win over Palermo at the San Siro on Sunday with both goals coming from the foot of Mario Balotelli.

After losing 4-0 in Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, Milan was able to rebound with a good start against relegation-battling Palermo as Balotelli was fouled inside the penalty area by Salvatore Aronica, allowing the former Manchester City striker to step to the spot and hammer the ball inside the left post.

Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati had to be sharp to keep out a low shot from Michael Morganella before halftime, but Milan pressed on and took a two-goal lead in the 66th minute.

The goal was a bit fortuitous as M'Baye Niang's cross was deflected toward his own goal by Aronica, forcing goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino to leave a rebound for Balotelli to easily fire home.

A late free kick went close for Balotelli as he attempted to complete his hat trick, but it was a fairly comfortable day for the Rossoneri, who stayed within two points of second-place Napoli.

Napoli 3, Atalanta 2

Naples, Italy - Goran Pandev's 81st-minute goal was needed for Napoli to claim a 3-2 home victory against Atalanta on Sunday, keeping the club two points clear of AC Milan for second place.

Edinson Cavani was the driving force for Napoli and he put his team in front from the penalty spot after four minutes.

Paolo Cannavaro's own goal handed Atalanta the equalizer, but Cavani was on target again in the 64th minute when he scored on the turn to put his team ahead, 2-1.

German Denis canceled out the goal nine minutes later for the visitors, but Pandev provided the decisive tally in the 81st when he got on the other end of a cross from Pablo Armero and sent a thunderous volley past goalkeeper Andrea Consigli.

Fiorentina 3, Genoa 2

Florence, Italy - Fiorentina held off a stubborn Genoa side on Sunday thanks to an own goal from Mattia Cassani, which gave the home team a 3-2 win at the Artmio Franchi.

Genoa twice came back from a goal down to level the match, but Cassani's own goal in the 77th minute leaves the club only one point above the relegation places.

Alberto Aquilani netted the lone goal in the first half for the Viola, but Daniele Portanova equalized in the 58th minute for the visitors.

Juan Cuadrado restored the advantage in the 62nd, but once more Genoa had a reply with Luca Antonelli scoring seven minutes later.

Andrea Bertolacci's red card in the 75th minute reduced Genoa to 10 men, and the decisive moment came only two minutes later as Gonzalo Rodriguez turned a corner kick toward the net that took a deflection off of Cassani before crossing the goal line.

Siena 0, Cagliari 0

Siena, Italy - Siena could only manage to move to within one point of safety on Sunday after the club was held to a 0-0 draw at home by Cagliari.

The visitors created the best chance of the game in the first half when Victor Ibarbo split two defenders. But with just goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo to beat, he shot straight at Pegolo.

Siena picked up the pace after the break, although the hosts were unable to carve out many serious threats despite controlling the majority of the possession.

Siena trails 17th-place Genoa by one point, while Cagliari sits in the middle of the league, 10 points above the drop zone.

Chievo 2, Pescara 0

Pescara, Italy - Chievo scored twice in the final few minutes to leave Pescara with a 2-0 win, pushing the home side closer to relegation.

Isaac Cofie came close to opening the scoring for Chievo in the first half, but his shot rattled the crossbar.

The home side had a good amount of possession, but lacked any real threat going forward, and Chievo finally cashed in on a few late opportunities.

Adrian Stoian broke the deadlock with a nice run from midfield that ended with the substitute finding a way past goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli.

Chievo wrapped up the points in stoppage time with a long ball from Siqueira Luciano that picked out Cyril Thereau, who dispatched his shot beyond the reach of the goalkeeper.

Torino 1, Lazio 0

Turin, Italy - Torino saved face and struck 12 minutes from time to claim a 1-0 defeat of 10-man Lazio on Sunday.

Lazio was reduced to 10 men in the 16th minute following Michael Ciani's sending off, but it took Torino 62 minutes to finally break through as Jonathas struck late on to hand Torino all three points.

Torino snaps a three-game winless run to climb to 32 points while Lazio's third successive Serie A defeat leaves the club on 47 points.

Roma 2, Parma 0

Rome, Italy - Roma received goals on opposite sides of halftime to earn a 2-0 win over Parma at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, extending the club's unbeaten run in league play to five games.

Erik Lamela opened the match with his team-leading 13th Serie A goal of the season in the seventh minute, while Francesco Totti wrapped up the affair in the 70th minute to lift Roma to 47 points on the season.

Parma has lost four of its last five league contests to remain on 35 points.

03/17 17:46:00 ET