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Gonzalo Higuain's stoppage time strike foils 10-man Torino

Higuain's stoppage time strike foils 10-man Torino
By Reuters

06/05/2017 at 23:24

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.

Dries Mertens celebrated his 30th birthday by scoring twice to lead Napoli to victory, taking his tally for the season to 30 goals in all competitions.

Players of SSC Napoli Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Jorginho celebrate

Players of SSC Napoli Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Jorginho celebrateGetty Images

Second place earns a spot in the Champions League group stage next season while the third-placed team have to go into the play-off round where Italian sides have a poor record.

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.

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