Juventus closer to sixth Serie A title in a row

epa05909610 Juventus' Gonzalo Higuain (R) scores a goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match Pescara Calcio vs Juventus FC at Adriatico stadium in Pescara, Italy, 15 April 2017. EPA/CLAUDIO LATTANZIO

MILAN – Gonzalo Higuain scored two first-half goals to give Juventus a 2-0 win at bottom club Pescara, which took them eight points clear at the top of Serie A on Saturday and closer to a sixth successive title.

Juventus were given a helping hand by Atalanta, who held second-placed AS Roma to a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico, adding to an unhappy spell for the hosts, who have recently been knocked out of the Europa League and Italian Cup.

Third-placed Napoli edged to within two points of Roma with a 3-0 win at home to Udinese.

Cristian Zapata scored with the last kick of the game as AC Milan hit back from two goals behind to draw 2-2 with Inter in the derby, although only Europa League places were at stake for the two struggling giants.

Palermo drew 0-0 at home to Bologna, ending a run of five successive defeats, as Diego Bortoluzzi began his reign as their fifth coach of the season.

The visitors played for more than an hour with 10 men after Erick Pulgar was sent off.

Juventus have 80 points, with Roma on 72 and Napoli 70.

Milan stayed sixth, the last of the Europa League spots, and two points clear of seventh-placed Inter.

Higuain turned in Juan Cuadrado’s cross to give Juventus a 23rd-minute lead at Pescara, and he slid in the second just before halftime after Mario Mandzukic knocked the ball into his path.

Atalanta took a first-half lead at Roma with Jasmin Kurtic’s volley before Mohamed Salah laid the ball off for Edin Dzeko to level soon after the interval with his 25th goal of the season.

Daniele De Rossi, with a bicycle kick, and Radja Nainggolan both hit the woodwork as Roma pressed desperately for a winner.

Napoli, the league’s top scorers with 75 goals, broke through against Udinese three minutes into the second half when Dries Mertens ran on to Jorginho’s through ball and comfortably beat Orestis Karnezis.

Midfielder Allan bullied Ali Adnan off the ball before rifling in the second in the 63rd minute, just after Duvan Zapata hit the post for Udinese, and Jose Callejon added the third.

In the first Milan derby with both teams under Chinese ownership, Inter raced to a 2-0 halftime lead thanks to goals from Antonio Candreva and Mauro Icardi.

Alessio Romagnoli reduced the arrears after 83 minutes as Milan complained about Inter time-wasting, and Zapata levelled seven minutes into stoppage time.

Fourth-placed Lazio twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Genoa, where Ivan Juric was back on the bench, less than three months after previously being fired.

Reuters

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