Tue, Oct 08, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Inter beaten as Higuain fires Juventus to top of table

AFP, MILAN, Italy

Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus, center, scores against Inter in their Serie A match at the San Siro in Milan, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Gonzalo Higuain on Sunday scored the winner as Juventus inflicted a first Serie A defeat of the season on Inter with a 2-1 victory which sent the defending champions top of Serie A.

Substitute Higuain slotted home on 80 minutes after fellow Argentine Paulo Dybala had opened the scoring in the fourth minute at the San Siro.

Another Argentine, forward Lautaro Martinez, pulled Inter level from the penalty spot on 18 minutes, but coach Antonio Conte lost in his first meeting against his former club since leaving Juve to take over the Italy national team in 2014.

Juventus moved one point ahead of Inter after seven games as they target a ninth consecutive title, and first under Maurizo Sarri.

“Overtaking at the top is insignificant right now,” former Chelsea boss Sarri said. “The important things is that we showed a performance of character and personality against a strong team in a high-tension environment. We deserved to win.”

Sarri started with Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi up front alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

Higuain — who also scored in Juventus’ 3-0 UEFA Champions League win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen last week — began on the bench.

The champions got off to a blistering start with Miralem Pjanic setting up Dybala, who took Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic by surprise.

Ronaldo rattled the crossbar and then had a goal ruled out when Dybala was in an offside position, but Inter got back on level terms when Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt handled the ball, with Lautaro drilling past Wojciech Szczesny.

The hosts were hit with Stefano Sensi going off injured and Sarri made a double substitution after an hour, bringing on in-form Higuain and Rodrigo Bentacur.

Ronaldo and Bentancur combined to send Higuain through for the winner, with Szczesny doing well to deny Matias Vecino as Inter desperately pushed forward for an equalizer.

“Juve showed their heavy artillery,” said Conte, who coached the Turin giants to the first three of their eight consecutive titles.

“Congratulations to them, we’ll roll up our sleeves now,” added Conte, whose side lost their Champions League game to Barcelona 2-1 last week.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta BC celebrated moving back to the Gewiss Stadium with a 3-1 win over promoted US Lecce that keeps the Bergamo side third on 16 points, but last season’s runners-up SSC Napoli are now six points behind Juventus in fourth following a goalless draw at Torino.

AS Roma are fifth, a point behind Napoli, after their match against Cagliari at the Stadio Olimpico finished 1-1 after Nikola Kalinic’s last-gasp goal for the hosts was disallowed.

Roma stay a point ahead of city rivals SS Lazio, who drew 2-2 at Bologna, with Serie A top-scorer Ciro Immobile getting both goals for the visitors to bring his tally to seven goals in as many games.

In Tuscany, Nikola Milenkovic nodded in the only goal after 72 minutes to give ACF Fiorentina their third consecutive win.

Fiorentina are eighth, while Udinese are a point above the relegation zone.

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