Higuain fires Juventus to 2-1 win
TURIN, Italy (AP):
Gonzalo Higuain scored a record 36 league goals for Napoli last season, and yesterday he scored his first goal against them, helping Juventus to a 2-1 win over his former team.
Higuain netted what was to prove the winner in the 70th minute, bursting into the area to fire a loose ball into the bottom right corner. He was engulfed by his teammates, but didn't celebrate.
"I told him he'd score before the match. I was good in reading the future," fellow goalscorer Leonardo Bonucci, said. "Luckily, this year, he plays for us and decides these kinds of matches."
After a tense first half, Juventus broke the deadlock in the 50th when Napoli failed to defend a Miralem Pjanic corner, and Bonucci volleyed in from close range.
Its lead lasted just four minutes before Jose Callejon beat the offside trap to volley in Lorenzo Insigne's pass to the far post.
Serie A leaders Juventus moved five points clear of second-place Roma, who visits Empoli today. Napoli remained fourth, seven points behind the five-time reigning champions.
"If we had drawn, Roma probably would have moved level with us tomorrow," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "But now Roma can't catch us tomorrow, and Napoli are seven points below us."
Tension between the sides increased in the off-season when HiguaÌn moved to Juventus for an Italian record fee of US$99 million after breaking a 66-year-old Serie A goalscoring record.
It threatened to boil over toward the end of the first half when a row broke out over a set play as Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina appeared to push Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic, but referee Gianluca Rocchi calmed the situation.