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Serie A: Gonzalo Higuain double helps Napoli stay in touch with leaders

December 2, 2013 -- Updated 2323 GMT (0723 HKT)
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring the opening goal of Monday's Serie A match at Lazio's Stadio Olimpico.
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring the opening goal of Monday's Serie A match at Lazio's Stadio Olimpico.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Napoli six points behind Italian league leader Juventus after beating Lazio 4-2
  • Striker Gonzalo Higuain scores twice to end his Serie A goal drought
  • Argentine is five goals behind league-leading Giuseppe Rossi of Fiorentina
  • Rossi nets his 12th in 14 games as fifth-placed Fiorentina wins seven-goal thriller

(CNN) -- Gonzalo Higuain scored his first Serie A goals since October as third-placed Napoli earned a morale-boosting 4-2 win at Lazio on Monday.

Higuain has struggled to match his feats at Real Madrid since joining from the Spanish club in a reported $55 million deal in July, but he netted in each half to put the Naples side within three points of second-placed Roma and six of leader Juventus.

The Argentina striker put Napoli ahead in the 24th minute at Rome's Stadio Olimpico but an own-goal from teammate Valon Behrami less than 60 seconds later leveled the score.

Fellow forward Goran Pandev made it 2-1 five minutes after the break, and Higuain -- who also had a first-half effort disallowed for offside -- extended the lead in the 72nd minute with his seventh goal in Italy's top flight this season.

Striker Keita Balde Diao pulled one back on 88, but Higuain's fellow former Real star Jose Maria Callejon sealed the win with his seventh goal in the league.

It helped boost Napoli ahead of this weekend's home match against Udinese and next week's must-win European Champions League Group F clash with Arsenal.

The defeat left Lazio in ninth place, 20 points behind champion Juve.

The Turin side suffered a setback Monday with the news that key midfielder Andrea Pirlo will next week's Champions League Group B decider at Galatasaray after suffering a knee injury in Sunday's 1-0 win against Udinese.

Juve needs a point to qualify for the knockout stage in second place behind Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina stayed fifth in Serie A after Monday's 4-2 win at home to 10-man Verona, with the score 2-2 inside 15 minutes.

Borja Valero netted two of those to level for La Viola, who then went ahead through Juan Vargas just before halftime.

Verona had Serbia midfielder Bosko Jankovic sent off in the 54th minute, allowing Giuseppe Rossi to net his leading 12th goal in 14 league games, while Brazil-born Italy Under-21 international Jorginho ensured a nervous finish when he reduced the deficit on 72.

It left Fiorentina behind fourth-placed Inter Milan on goal difference, with Verona five points adrift in sixth.

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