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Gonzalo Higuain brace in Napoli win

Gonzalo Higuain scored twice as Napoli rallied from behind to beat AC Milan 3-1 on Saturday and reinforce their bid for a Champions League place.

Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring Napoli's third goal against Milan.
Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring Napoli's third goal against Milan.

Adel Taarabt took less than eight minutes of his Serie A debut to fire Milan in front, racing half the length of the pitch before curling a wonderful finish into the bottom right corner.

Gokhan Inler levelled three minutes later with a deflected effort into the top right corner.

Higuain had an effort ruled marginally offside and Cristian Maggio hit the post as Napoli threatened to take the lead on several occasions. The home side finally made the most of their opportunities 11 minutes after halftime when Higuain, who had been threatening all night, headed home a delightful cross from Inler.

The Argentine doubled his tally eight minutes from time to take his season tally to 16 in all competitions.

Shortly beforehand, Mario Balotelli broke down in tears on the bench after being substituted following a below-par performance from the Italy striker.

It was Clarence Seedorf's first league defeat as Milan coach.

Third-place Napoli remained three points ahead of Fiorentina, who won 2-0 over Atalanta earlier on Saturday.

Josip Ilicic broke the deadlock in Florence in the 16th minute when he curled a superb free kick into the near top right corner from 25 metres.

Atalanta's hopes of getting anything from the match all but evaporated when they were reduced to 10 men nine minutes from time following Luca Cigarini's second booking.

Substitute Rafal Wolski sealed the match in the 86th minute, racing almost half the length of the pitch and holding off defenders before firing across into the bottom left corner for his first Serie A goal.

Udinese beat Chievo Verona 3-0 in a relegation battle. Chievo almost took the lead on the half hour when Cyril Thereau's back-heeled effort crashed off the base of the upright.

Udinese went in front in the 56th when Antonio Di Natale brought down Dusan Basta's pass and volleyed across into the bottom left corner for his third goal in as many matches.

Substitute Bruno Fernandes tapped home Roberto Pereyra's cross in the 74th minute and Emmanuel Badu added a third shortly before full-time.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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