Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat-trick as Juventus sounded an ominous warning to rivals Napoli by overwhelming Sassuolo in a comprehensive 7-0 victory at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
The champions scored four times in a one-sided first 45 minutes, and added three more through Higuain in the second half, to ease to their 10th consecutive victory in all competitions, bolstering their Serie A title defence.
Massimiliano Allegri named Gianluigi Buffon for his first league appearance since December and the 40-year-old could hardly have asked for a more comfortable clean sheet, his side’s sixth straight in all competitions.
Alex Sandro opened the scoring after nine minutes and the contest was all but over by the half-hour mark as Sami Khedira hit a quickfire double to improve his season tally to six.
Miralem Pjanic’s fine fourth prompted Allegri, who was forced to withdraw the injured Blaise Matuidi amid the goal glut, to make a further two changes at the break in a sign of the comfort enjoyed by the Bianconeri.
Higuain stole the spotlight with a classy treble – his first for the club – after the restart to further compound the away side’s misery and cap off a win that momentarily moves Juve two points ahead of Napoli, who visit Benevento later on Sunday.