Higuain helps Juventus to record 26th straight home win
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 09, 2017 11:24 AM
Juventus's Gonzalo Higuain, right, gets the ball past AC Milan's Manuel Locatelli during the Italian Super Cup soccer match between Juventus and AC Milan, at the Al Sadd Sports Club in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexandra Panagiotidou)
ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer
ROME (AP) — It's no coincidence that Juventus has won Serie A every season since the Juventus Stadium opened in September 2011.
The Bianconeri have been virtually unbeatable in the Italian league's only major club-owned stadium and improved on their own Serie A record with a 26th consecutive home win Sunday.
Gonzalo Higuain scored his fourth brace of the season as Juventus beat Bologna 3-0.
Juventus held the previous record of 25 straight home wins, established at the stadium between 2013 and 2015.
The current streak began against Bologna on Oct. 24, 2015, and Bologna never really had a chance to prevent the latest record.
Higuain opened the scoring with a volley from a lobbed pass from Miralem Pjanic seven minutes in, Paulo Dybala added a penalty before the break and then Higuain headed in another early in the second half.
Juventus, which still has a game in hand, restored its four-point lead over Roma, which beat Genoa 1-0 earlier.
Roma finally found a way to win away from home — with an own goal.
Armando Izzo redirected a cross from Bruno Peres into his own net in the first half as Roma won 1-0 at Genoa for its first victory away from the Stadio Olimpico since October.
Roma has won all nine of its home matches, while its away record now reads four wins, two draws and four losses.
"It's a big win. This is a tough league and we've faced some difficult opponents," Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. "If we had won all of our away matches, too, we would be champions of Italy by now."
Roma's last win outside the capital had been a 3-1 victory over Sassuolo on Oct. 26 in Reggio Emilia. The Giallorossi also beat Lazio 2-0 in the Rome derby early last month when they were technically the visitors.
Roma forward Edin Dzeko hit the post near the hour mark, the fourth time the Bosnia and Herzegovina striker has found the woodwork this season — more than any other player in the league.
Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny preserved the win with a difficult save on a shot from beyond the area by Lucas Ocampos in stoppage time.
"For Genoa, I think in 38 matches they won't play one that's not physical. Because that's the type of football they play — very aggressive, man against man," De Rossi said. "We needed to put our work boots on and we did."
Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin tore his ACL early on and will miss the rest of the season.
Lazio also won 1-0, over struggling Crotone with a last-minute goal from Ciro Immobile after Lucas Biglia hit the crossbar with a penalty in the first half.
Lazio is fourth, one point behind third-placed Napoli, which beat Sampdoria 2-1 on Saturday.
MILAN CLUBS WIN
Fresh off its Italian Super Cup win over Juventus, fifth-placed AC Milan needed a late goal to beat visiting Cagliari 1-0.
Carlos Bacca scored from close range two minutes from the end after being set up by Gianluca Lapadula.
Cagliari ended with 10 men when Bruno Alves was sent off for pulling down Bacca just outside the area to prevent a clear scoring opportunity in added time.
Earlier, Ivan Perisic scored twice and seventh-placed Inter Milan came from a goal down to beat Udinese 2-1 and win its fourth straight game.
Perisic equalized in first-half added time, slotting a shot inside the near post after receiving a pass from Mauro Icardi, then headed in from a free kick three minutes from the end.
It was the first brace in Serie A for Perisic, a Croatia international who joined Inter from Wolfsburg in 2015.
Jakub Jankto, a 20-year-old Czech midfielder, had put Udinese ahead early in the first half after being set up by French talent Seko Fofana.
Atalanta revived its chances of finishing in the Europa League spots with a convincing 4-1 win at Chievo Verona.
Alejandro "Papu" Gomez scored twice for Atalanta, with Andrea Conti and Remo Freuler also finding the target for the Bergamo club.
Sergio Pellissier's goal for Chievo temporarily made it 3-1.
Domenico Berardi returned from a long injury layoff for Sassuolo in a 0-0 draw with Torino.
The Pescara-Fiorentina match was postponed due to too much snow and ice inside and around the Stadio Adriatico.
Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf