Pasalic hit a hat-trick as Atalanta continued their superb recent run of form in Bergamo to move within four points of league leaders Napoli, who face Sassuolo on Wednesday.

After an impressive win at Juve at the weekend, Atalanta won their fourth straight league match thanks to Pasalic’s treble and a Teun Koopmeiners strike which puts them level on 31 points with Inter Milan in third.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta are unbeaten in eight in Italy and cannot be discounted from the title race after swatting promoted Venezia aside despite making a raft of changes from Saturday’s win over Juve in Turin.

Pasalic made it an uphill battle for the away side when he collected Josip Ilicic’s perfect through ball before sliding in his seventh-minute opener, and the Croat rifled home the second five minutes later.

Venezia never looked like responding from their early setback and Koopmeiners made absolutely sure of the points just before the hour mark, arrowing in his first ever Serie A goal from the edge of the box after a neat exchange of passes between Ilicic, Pasalic and Giuseppe Pezzella.

And Pasalic completed a perfect evening for him and his high-flying team with a simple finish 10 minutes later following dazzling dribbling from Luis Muriel.