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Higuain breaks 100-goal barrier as Juventus bury Milan

Milan (AFP) – Gonzalo Higuain scored in either half to bring his tally of Serie A goals to 101 as Juventus went top of the Italian league with a 2-0 win that plunged AC Milan further into crisis on Saturday.

Higuain opened after 23 minutes in front of a capacity crowd at the San Siro Stadium and grabbed a second on 63 minutes for the six-time reigning champions.

Juventus move provisionally top with 28 points from 11 games just ahead of Napoli — who host Sassuolo on Sunday — on goal difference.

“When they disallowed the goal against SPAL, we said it was my destiny to score the 100th at San Siro! Now it’s 101, not bad,” Higuain told Sky Sport Italia.

“We’re a strong team and when we play like that it’s difficult to beat us,” said Higuain. “It was essential not to concede a goal.

“I don’t listen to criticism, I just always try to be myself and today we had a great team effort.”

Vincenzo Montella’s Milan, who had ended their run of three consecutive defeats at Chievo midweek, had little answer for their northern Italian neighbours.

The future looks increasingly bleak for Montella whose side are now in eighth position, 12 points behind the leaders, and far below their objective of Champions League football next season.

Milan captain Leonardo Bonucci was absent as he completed his two-match ban against his former club.

After early pressure from the hosts, Juventus got into their stride with Paulo Dybala weaving his way through for fellow Argentine Higuain to blast in his 100th league goal after 22 minutes.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini risked an own goal as he nodded just wide when anticipating Nikola Kalinic.

Croatian striker Kalinic had Milan’s best chance just before the first half whistle but his effort was deflected by goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon onto the crossbar.

Higuain’s second came after Kwadwo Asamoah crossed to Dybala who let the ball pass between his legs for the Argentine marksman to trick Ricardo Rodriguez and rifle past Gianluigi Donnarumma after 63 minutes for his sixth league goal of the season.

“Milan perhaps started stronger, but we played like a great team, we deserved the victory.

“The coach said games never end at San Siro and that is absolutely true. We stayed focussed for the full 90 minutes and made only one mistake, when they hit the bar.

“Now we have to recuperate and focus on the Champions League in Lisbon.”

Leaders Napoli can reclaim top spot when they travel north to Sassuolo, who are just two points above the relegation zone, on Sunday.

Inter Milan two points behind the leaders travel to lowly Verona on Monday.

AS Roma host Bologna later Saturday without Dutch international Rick Karsdorp, who picked up a ruptured cruciate ligament during the week.

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