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Higuain's stoppage time strike foils Torino

  • Published at 03:29 am May 7th, 2017
Higuain's stoppage time strike foils Torino
Ten-man Torino were cruelly denied a shock win away to their more illustrious neighbours Juventus on Saturday when Gonzalo Higuain struck in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw for the Serie A leaders. However, Torino succeeded in ending Juve's run of 33 successive home league wins and denied them the chance to wrap up the title this weekend. Adem Ljajic gave Torino a 52nd-minute lead with an exquisite free kick but the side were incensed when Afriyie Acquah was sent off five minutes later after two harshly awarded yellow cards. Torino were holding their own until Higuain, who started on the bench, collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and beat Joe Hart with a shot of stunning precision into the bottom left-hand corner. With three matches to play Juventus have 85 points, eight ahead of Napoli who earlier beat Cagliari 3-1. AS Roma, who visit AC Milan on Sunday, are a further two points back in third. Earlier, Dries Mertens celebrated his 30th birthday by scoring twice to lead Napoli to a 3-1 win over Cagliari which lifted them into second place in Serie A . The Belgian took his tally for the season to 30 goals in all competitions as Napoli dominated their Sardinian opponents in what sometimes appeared to be an attack-versus-defence practice session. Napoli's win took them on to 77 points from 35 games, two more than AS Roma who visit AC Milan on Sunday. Second place earns a spot in the Champions League group stage next season while the third-placed team have to go into the playoff round where Italian sides have a poor record. [caption id="attachment_61954" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Napoli's Dries Mertens shoots to score REUTERS [/caption] Mertens got Napoli off to a flying start when he turned in Faouzi Ghoulam’s cross after two minutes. Napoli were so confident and dominant that Marek Hamsik tried to score from near the halfway line after seeing goalkeeper Rafael off his line but his effort landed on the roof of the net. Mertens struck again with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area four minutes after the restart and then set up the third with an astute pass to Lorenzo Insigne, who finished clinically. Diego Farias broke away to pull one back in stoppage time for Cagliari. RESULTS: Juventus 1 Gonzalo Higuain 90+2  Torino 1 Adem Ljajic 52 Napoli 3 Dries Mertens 2,49, Lorenzo Insigne 67  Cagliari 1 Diego Farias 90+2 Standings P W D L F A Pts 1 Juventus 35 27 4 4 71 23 85 2 Napoli 35 23 8 4 81 36 77 3 AS Roma 34 24 3 7 75 31 75 4 Lazio 34 20 7 7 63 39 67 5 Atalanta Bergamo 34 19 7 8 58 39 64 6 AC Milan 34 17 8 9 51 38 59 7 Inter Milan 34 17 5 12 63 43 56 8 Fiorentina 34 15 10 9 55 47 55 9 Torino 35 12 14 9 65 56 50 10 Sampdoria 34 12 10 12 42 42 46
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