Deadly Higuain earns Juve derby spoils

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in Turin, Italy

Gon­zalo Higuain bagged his 19th Serie A brace as leader Ju­ven­tus moved seven points ahead of Roma and AC Mi­lan with a 3-1 derby win at Torino on Sun­day.

Juve sup­port­ers had every right to be con­cerned about Higuain’s con­sis­tency, con­sid­er­ing his last league goal came in a 2-1 win over Napoli in Oc­to­ber, fol­low­ing his $95 mil­lion move to Turin in the sum­mer.

But the Ar­gen­tine net­ted in Juve’s 2-0 Cham­pi­ons League vic­tory over Di­namo Za­greb in mid­week and con­firmed his re­turn to form with a fine dou­ble that left Eng­land goal­keeper Joe Hart with no chance.

Visi­tor Juve was given a spur by late sub­sti­tutes Paulo Dy­bala and Mi­ralem Pjanic, the Bos­nian scor­ing Juve’s third in stop­page time.

“It was a great derby that we won thanks to some late changes,” said coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri.

“Higuain was mov­ing well and did well for us.”

Torino coach Sin­isa Mi­ha­jlovic upped the stakes at a dra­matic pre-match me­dia con­fer­ence at­tended by a 60-year-old fan and the club’s long-serv­ing equip­ment man­ager at which he claimed the “whole of Torino” was set on beat­ing its archri­val.

But with only one win from the past 21 der­bies – a 2-1 vic­tory in April 2015 that ended their 20-year wait for brag­ging rights – the pres­sure was all on the host, and by the end Ser­bian Mi­ha­jlovic con­ceded to the richer, more pow­er­ful neigh­bor.

“We wanted to win this game and, look­ing at the chances we cre­ated, we should per­haps have had more,” said Mi­ha­jlovic.

“But Juve have a team that’s ca­pa­ble of chal­leng­ing at home and in Europe, while we are try­ing to qual­ify for the Europa League.”

Roma and AC Mi­lan, in sec­ond and third re­spec­tively, played in the cap­i­tal on Mon­day night.

REUTERS

Gon­zalo Higuain cel­e­brates scor­ing his sec­ond goal for Ju­ven­tus on Sun­day.

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