Higuain scores controversial brace from spot
Gonzalo Higuain scored twice from the spot after seemingly generous penalty decisions to hand Napoli a 2-0 win over Torino and close the gap to Serie A leaders Roma to two points on Sunday.
Roma travel to Udinese in one of six afternoon fixtures looking to secure an all-time league record of nine consecutive opening wins, a feat that would restore their five-point lead over Rafael Benitez's men.
Napoli, meanwhile, provided further proof they are likely to be among the biggest challengers to champions Juventus this season.
But, fresh from a precious 2-1 Champions League win away to Marseille on Tuesday, the hosts benefited from two generous penalty decisions.
Torino finished the match with 10 men after second-half substitute Migjen Basha saw red in the closing minutes after hauling down Goran Pandev, but by then the damage had been done.
Higuain opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he smashed his spot kick past Daniele Padelli after Dries Mertens tumbled all too easily when his trailing leg made slight contact with Nicola Bellomo in the area.
Five minutes later the Argentinian tested Padelli again when he picked up Blerim Dzemaili's pass to send a low drive from 20 metres just wide of the post.
Higuain's snap shot from 10 metres was then expertly stopped by Padelli, but the keeper soon found himself facing Higuain from 11 metres out again just after the half hour.
Federico Fernandez smashed his shot off the arm of defender Kamil Glik and at first Torino appeared to have been given the benefit of the doubt, only for the referee to point to the spot following consultation with his assistant.
Higuain made no mistake, smashing his second attempt low past Padelli to hand the hosts a 2-0 lead and take his tally for the season to five goals.
Napoli spurned the chance for a 3-0 half-time lead when Lorenzo Insigne's chip was headed to safety by Danilo D'Ambrosio after Padelli had panicked and come rushing out of his goal.
Pepe Reina had had little to do in the Napoli goal but palmed an Alessio Cerci free kick over the bar before the interval.
A visibly angry Giampiero Ventura made a double substitution for the visitors with Basha replacing Alessandro Gazzi and Cerci making way for Riccardo Meggiorini at the restart.
Napoli, however, only grew in confidence and Reina coped easily with shots from Basha and Paulo Vitor Barreto.
In the closing period Meggiorini forced a superb diving save from Reina with an angled drive although on the counter-attack Napoli were denied a third goal when Jose Callejon's low effort was palmed away by Padelli.