Gonzalo Higuaín struck a 20-minute hat-trick on Sunday afternoon as Juventus thrashed Sassuolo 7-0 to maintain pressure on Napoli at the top of Serie A.
Juve were already four up thanks to a Sami Khedira brace and other first half goals by Alex Sandro and Miralem Panic but it was all about Gonzalo Higuaín after the break.
The 30-year-old opened his account for the afternoon with a powerful strike into the bottom corner after 63 minutes and in no time ensured that he would be taking home the match ball. Rounding goalkeeper Andrea Consigli, Higuaín added his second and seven minutes from time, a neat clipped finish completed the centre forward’s first hat-trick since joining Juventus.
Despite falling out of Jorge Sampaoli’s squad, Higuaín looks certain to return for the friendlies in March and is in fine form. While Sunday’s hat-trick was the striker’s first in Serie A since 2015, Higuaín now has five in his last three matches for Juventus and takes his tally to 49 in 87 matches since making the big money move from Napoli.
Another player forcing his way back into Argentina’s plans is Angel Correa and after becoming a key figure this season for Atlético Madrid struck a fierce winner against Valencia to help Diego Simeone’s side close to within nine points of Barcelona at the top.
An unsurprisingly tight game between second and third was won on the hour mark when Correa picked up the ball from Koke, turned to drive at the Valencia defence and unleashed a thunderbolt into the top corner from outside the penalty area.
The spectacular strike was worthy of winning any game but as Correa took his number of La Liga goals this season to six, it served as a reminder of how important the 22-year-old could be for La Albiceleste this summer.