MILAN: Gonzalo Higuain struck his 21st Serie A brace to go level top of the league scoring charts in a 2-0 win at Cagliari that edged Juventus closer to a record sixth consecutive scudetto on Sunday.
Higuain's 17th and 18th goals of the league season means the Argentina striker is tied with Edin Dzeko, who missed a penalty but then made amends with Roma's second in a 2-0 win at Crotone, in the race for the Capocannoniere (top scorer) award.
Juventus sit seven points ahead of Luciano Spalletti's Roma, who left Francesco Totti at home for a trip to Calabria where Mohamed Salah provided assists for Radja Nainggolan and Dzeko.
Napoli, 2-0 winners at Genoa on Friday, sit third at nine points off the pace days ahead of their Champions League trip to Real Madrid.
Juventus are not in action in Europe until they visit Porto on February 22 and Massimiliano Allegri's men have capitalised to further underline their scudetto bid.
Despite Juve's numerical advantage after Nicolo Barella saw red for a second caution on 67 minutes, Higuain says it wasn't as easy as it looked.
"We did well, but it was a difficult match because we just couldn't get into our stride at the start," Higuain told Premium Sport. "Once we broke the deadlock, it started going a lot better, and even more so after their expulsion."
It was the 24th time in Serie A that Higuain, who now has 21 braces and three hat-tricks, had scored multiple goals in a game since arriving from Real Madrid in 2013.
Allegri told Sky Sport: "He's an extraordinary player. He works hard for the team, and he's got great fitness. The others are making sacrifices too. Dybala was great today and deserved to score."