Skip to main content

Serie A: Gonzalo Higuain double helps Napoli stay in touch with leaders

updated 6:23 PM EST, Mon December 2, 2013
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring the opening goal of Monday's Serie A match at Lazio's Stadio Olimpico.
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring the opening goal of Monday's Serie A match at Lazio's Stadio Olimpico.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Napoli six points behind Italian league leader Juventus after beating Lazio 4-2
  • Striker Gonzalo Higuain scores twice to end his Serie A goal drought
  • Argentine is five goals behind league-leading Giuseppe Rossi of Fiorentina
  • Rossi nets his 12th in 14 games as fifth-placed Fiorentina wins seven-goal thriller

(CNN) -- Gonzalo Higuain scored his first Serie A goals since October as third-placed Napoli earned a morale-boosting 4-2 win at Lazio on Monday.

Higuain has struggled to match his feats at Real Madrid since joining from the Spanish club in a reported $55 million deal in July, but he netted in each half to put the Naples side within three points of second-placed Roma and six of leader Juventus.

The Argentina striker put Napoli ahead in the 24th minute at Rome's Stadio Olimpico but an own-goal from teammate Valon Behrami less than 60 seconds later leveled the score.

Fellow forward Goran Pandev made it 2-1 five minutes after the break, and Higuain -- who also had a first-half effort disallowed for offside -- extended the lead in the 72nd minute with his seventh goal in Italy's top flight this season.

Striker Keita Balde Diao pulled one back on 88, but Higuain's fellow former Real star Jose Maria Callejon sealed the win with his seventh goal in the league.

It helped boost Napoli ahead of this weekend's home match against Udinese and next week's must-win European Champions League Group F clash with Arsenal.

The defeat left Lazio in ninth place, 20 points behind champion Juve.

The Turin side suffered a setback Monday with the news that key midfielder Andrea Pirlo will next week's Champions League Group B decider at Galatasaray after suffering a knee injury in Sunday's 1-0 win against Udinese.

Juve needs a point to qualify for the knockout stage in second place behind Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina stayed fifth in Serie A after Monday's 4-2 win at home to 10-man Verona, with the score 2-2 inside 15 minutes.

Borja Valero netted two of those to level for La Viola, who then went ahead through Juan Vargas just before halftime.

Verona had Serbia midfielder Bosko Jankovic sent off in the 54th minute, allowing Giuseppe Rossi to net his leading 12th goal in 14 league games, while Brazil-born Italy Under-21 international Jorginho ensured a nervous finish when he reduced the deficit on 72.

It left Fiorentina behind fourth-placed Inter Milan on goal difference, with Verona five points adrift in sixth.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT