Higuain helps Ju­ven­tus closer to ti­tle de­fence

The National - News - Sport - - FOOTBALL -

Gon­zalo Higuain scored his eighth goal in his past six league games to in­spire Serie A lead­ers Ju­ven­tus to a 2-0 win at Sas­suolo yes­ter­day while sec­ond-placed Roma lost 3-2 at Sam­p­do­ria. Roma led twice be­fore two goals in three min­utes sent them to a de­feat that left them four points be­hind Juve, who also have a game in hand.

Ju­ven­tus, aim­ing for a sixth con­sec­u­tive ti­tle, have 51 points from 21 games.

Higuain set Ju­ven­tus on their way to a com­fort­able win by get­ting ahead of his marker to head in Alex San­dro’s cross af­ter nine min­utes, tak­ing his tally for the sea­son to 15.

The Ar­gen­tine set up Juve’s sec­ond when he dis­pos­sessed Paolo Can­navaro and pro­vided a low cross which was turned in by Sami Khedira af­ter 25 min­utes. Edin Dzeko’s 66th-minute goal ap­peared to put Roma on course for a win as they led 2-1 at Sam­p­do­ria but Pa­trik Schick lev­elled five min­utes later with his first touch of the game. There was more drama two min­utes later when Luis Muriel scored the win­ner with a de­flected free kick.

Francesco Totti’s free kick was turned away by Chris­tian Pug­gioni and Roma also had a penalty ap­peal turned down as they threw them­selves for­ward. Bruno Peres had given Roma a fifth-minute lead but his goal was can­celled out by Den­nis Praet be­fore half time. Gio­vanni Sime­one scored twice, the sec­ond a late penalty, as Genoa fought back from 2-0 and 3-2 be­hind to draw 3-3 at Fiorentina.

Josip Ili­cic and Fed­erico Chiesa had put Fiorentina 2-0 ahead but Genoa hit back with two goals in three min­utes just be­fore the hour, from Sime­one and Os­car Hil­je­mark.

Nikola Kalinic put Fiorentina back in front but Fed­erico Bernarde­schi han­dled on the line, was sent off and Sime­one con­verted the penalty.

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