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2015/2016 Italian Serie A
  • Gonzalo Higuaín (10', 77')
  • Remo Freuler (85')

Gonzalo Higuain double moves Napoli back up to second in Serie A

Gonzalo Higuain reached 32 goals for the season as Napoli held onto second place in the Serie A table by beating Atalanta 2-1 at the Stadio San Paolo.

The league's leading scorer notched either side of the break to prevent Roma from moving into the runners-up spot, with Raul Albiol putting through his own net to give the southerners the jitters at the death.

Roma's earlier victory at Genoa had lifted the capital club above Napoli and into second so Maurizio Sarri's men had to respond quickly and effectively.

After some probing by both sides the ball fell nicely for Marek Hamsik, who cut inside from the left to supply Higuain for his 31st goal in 32 matches.

Napoli struggled to make anything else stick in the first half and it was not until the 40th minute that they carved out another half chance, Jorginho setting up Lorenzo Insigne for an acrobatic effort that fizzed past a post.

When play resumed Napoli's Slovakian captain Hamsik danced through the middle of the park, ignoring the available Higuain, before shooting straight down Marco Sportiello's throat.

The hosts hit the crossbar in the 57th minute. Andrea Masiello's mistake in defence allowed Allan to waltz into a one-on-one with Sportiello but the Brazilian could only hit the frame of the goal.

Dries Mertens then nutmegged Rafael Toloi on his way into the Atalanta box, his finish just missing the mark, but in the 77th minute Napoli doubled up.

Higuain further extended his tally by turning Jose Callejon's cross beyond Sportiello to rubber-stamp the three points.

It was just as well the Argentinian had bagged a brace, as Albiol spoiled Napoli's clean sheet five minutes from time, the former Real Madrid defender accidentally turning Kalidou Koulibaly's attempted clearance over the line.