December 8, 2013
Soccer — Italian and Spanish LeaguesMonday, October 28, 2013
Higuaín double gives Napoli 2-0 victory
ROME — Two Gonzalo Higuaín penalties spurred Napoli to a 2-0 win over 10-man Torino yesterday, but continued five points behind Serie A leader AS Roma, which defeated Udinese 1-0.
The Argentine struck in the 14th and 32nd minutes from the penalty spot to take his tally for the season to five goals.
Napoli were awarded the first penalty after Dries Mertens looked to have gone down very easily under Nicola Bellomo’s challenge, while a harsh handball against Kamil Glik earned them the second. Glik accidentally blocked Federico Fernández’s shot from point blank range with his arm.
Referee Andrea De Marco initially waved away the home side’s penalty claims but with Torino breaking away and bearing down on goal, he then pulled play back and pointed to the spot, infuriating Torino boss Giampiero Ventura.
Migjen Basha further compounded the visitors’ misery four minutes before the end when he was shown a straight red card for pulling down Goran Pandev from behind as the Macedonian looked to be clean through on goal.
Also, United States midfielder Michael Bradley scored late to help 10-man Roma beat Udinese and set a Serie A record by winning its first nine matches of the season.
Bradley came on as a substitute and broke the deadlock with his first touch of the match eight minutes from full time to keep Roma five points clear of Napoli and Juventus.
Roma played the final 24 minutes with 10 men after Maicon was sent off for a second yellow card.
Yesterday, Juventus beat Genoa 2-0. Arturo Vidal, who had earlier hit the crossbar, fired Juve in front from the spot in the 22nd minute after Davide Biondini tripped Kwadwo Asamoah, although the foul appeared to be just outside the area.
The two-time defending champion grabbed a second 10 minutes from halftime when Carlos Tevez dribbled in the area before placing an angled drive across into the bottom right corner.
SPANISH LEAGUE. Promising teenager Oliver Torres scored 13 seconds into his first start for Atlético Madrid yesterday before veteran David Villa added a brace in its 5-0 rout of Real Betis, keeping the team pegged one point behind Spanish leader Barcelona.
Oliver connected with a squared ball from Jorge “Koke” Resurrección that took a deflection off Betis defender Jordi Figueras before falling for him to fire home just moments after the opening whistle at Vicente Calderón Stadium.
The 31-year-old Villa, Spain’s all-time leading scorer, ended his month-long scoring drought with a much-needed double after being overshadowed by strike partner Diego Costa since his move from Barcelona this summer.
Having gotten his pair of goals, Villa capped his best performance for Atlético by passing for Diego Costa to notch his league-leading 11th goal of the season.