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Higuain leads Juve to strong position

Gonzalo Higuain scored his eighth goal in the last six league games to inspire Serie A leaders Juventus to a 2-0 win at Sassuolo on January 29 while their nearest rivals floundered.

Higuain leads Juve to strong position
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Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring for Juventus

Second-placed Roma led twice before two goals in three minutes sent them to a 3-2 defeat at Sampdoria and Napoli were held 1-1 at home by lowly Palermo who were playing their first game under Diego Lopez, their fourth coach of the season. Juventus have 51 points from 21 games, with Roma on 47 and Napoli in third on 45. 

The Turin side also have a game in hand as they move closer to a sixth consecutive title. 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 fifteen. 

The Argentine set up Juve’s second when he dispossessed Paolo Cannavaro and provided a low cross which was 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, having come on as a substitute little more than a minute earlier. 

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 halftime. 

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. Diego Falcinelli’s hat-trick gave struggling Crotone a glimmer of hope with a 4-1 win over Empoli. Crotone remain mired in the relegation zone but their win cut the gap between themselves and Empoli, the team immediately above the bottom three.

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