2016/2017 Italian Serie A
  • Gonzalo Higuaín (22', 43')

Gonzalo Higuain double helps Juventus close in on Serie A title

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Juventus cruised to a 2-0 victory at basement club Pescara to strengthen their grip on a sixth successive Scudetto title.

A first-half brace from Gonzalo Higuain was enough for the league leaders to seal all three points, a result that left Pescara 12 points from safety with six matches to play.

Juventus dictated the possession in the early stages of the game and it did not take long for the visitors to test Pescara goalkeeper Vincenzo Fiorillo with Mario Mandzukic's powerful header being denied by a wonderful save on 10 minutes.

Higuain screwed a shot well wide from the edge of the area before Cristiano Biraghi threatened at the other end but dragged his effort wide of Neto's goal.

Juve were soon in front on 22 minutes when a mazy run from Juan Cuadrado created some space for the Colombian to fire in a shot, which Fiorillo saved, but the rebound fell back at the feet of the winger who squared it across for Higuain to tap into an empty net.

The Argentinian was thwarted again by the busy Fiorillo after he broke the offside trap to latch onto a through ball inside the penalty box but the goalkeeper could not stop the striker from scoring again just before the break.

A free-flowing move worked its way to Miralem Pjanic on the edge of the area before he curled a precise cross to Mandzukic at the far post, who nodded down to Higuain, who was the quickest to react and prod in his 25th Serie A goal of the season.

After the break, Juventus utilised their two-goal cushion to control the tempo of the match and conserve their energy ahead of next week's Champions League quarter-final second leg at Barcelona with Pjanic coming off.

There was concern for the visitors when Paulo Dybala was caught by a late tackle and had to be replaced by Stefano Sturaro and the substitute got straight into the action with a left-footed strike that was stopped by Fiorillo.

Claudio Marchisio blazed over from 20 yards out following a quick counter-attack for the visitors, while a Biraghi free-kick on 86 minutes tested Neto's hands for the first time of a one-sided match.