February 4, 2018 / 4:18 PM / 4 months ago

Soccer-Higuain scores second-half hat-trick in Juve's seven-goal rout

MILAN, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain scored a second-half hat-trick as the titleholders routed hapless Sassuolo 7-0 in Serie A on Sunday.

Alex Sandro gave Juventus a seventh-minute lead, then two goals in three minutes from Sami Khedira put the Turin side three goals up and Miralem Pjanic added a fourth before halftime.

Higuain then burst onto the scene with a hat-trick between the 63rd and 83rd minutes.

Juve’s seventh consecutive league win took them top of Serie A, at least for a few hours, with Napoli away to Benevento in the evening game. Juve have 59 points to Napoli’s 57.

AS Roma ended a six-game winless run in the league when Cengiz Under scored after 43 seconds, winning possession and then firing home from outside the area, to give them a 1-0 win at relegation-threatened Verona.

Fifth-placed Roma held out despite having Lorenzo Pellegrini given a straight red card six minutes after halftime for a late, reckless tackle on Ryder Matos.

AC Milan were held 1-1 at Udinese after having a player sent off and then conceding an own goal.

Suso rifled Gennaro Gattuso’s team ahead in the ninth minute with a 30-metre shot but the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Davide Calabria was sent off for a second booking in the 68th minute.

Udinese equalised eight minutes later with a Kevin Lasagna shot which deflected off a defender before goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma tipped it into his own goal. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; Editin by Toby Davis)

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