ROME (AP): Napoli are halfway to their first Serie A title since Diego Maradona led the club to the 1990 championship. Gonzalo Higuain scored twice as Napoli routed promoted Frosinone 5-1 yesterday to earn the southern team the Italian league’s symbolic “winter title”. Through 19 rounds of the 38-match season, Napoli hold a two-point lead over Inter Milan, who were beaten 1-0 by Sassuolo earlier with a last-minute penalty to surrender the lead. The winter champions have gone on to win Serie A nearly seven out of every 10 seasons. “We’re still not sure what we’re capable of,” Napoli’s first-year manager Maurizio Sarri said. The last time Napoli earned the mid-term honor came in 1990. “Being winter champion means nothing. It means something when you’re champion in May,” Higuain said. “We’ve got to stay calm now because there are still five months to go and we want to continue this way.” Fiorentina are third, three points behind, after losing 3-1 to Lazio on Saturday. Also yesterday, it was: Atalanta 0, Genoa 2; Bologna 0, Chievo Verona 1; Torino 0, Empoli 1; and Hellas Verona 0, Palermo 1. In an entertaining match at the San Siro, both Inter and Sassuolo produced numerous chances and goalkeepers Samir Handanovic and Andrea Consigli were superb. Inter threatened early with Mauro Icardi and Adem Ljajic, then Simone Missiroli and Nicola Sansone were dangerous for Sassuolo. Handanovic tipped a free-kick from Sansone over the bar and Consigli made an extraordinary diving save to swat away a shot from Ljajic before the break. Inter substitute Rodrigo Palacio had a clear look in the 79th, but his effort was cleared off the line by defender Federico Peluso. Miranda’s decisive foul came after an error by fellow center back Jeison Murillo. Berardi then calmly beat Handanovic, improving to a perfect 6-for-6 on penalties this season. Having been beaten by Lazio before the holiday break, Inter has now lost two consecutive home matches in Serie A for the first time since May 2013. Sassuolo are sixth, 10 points behind Napoli.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventIn just three days, the rebel United Front for Change made the journey from bases on the border with Darfur and came close to capturing the National Assembly building in the capital, N’djamena. Government troops pushed them back and were holding 20 rebel prisoners on the grounds of the National Assembly building at the city’s center. Soldiers were sweeping through N’djamena, rounding up rebels scattered in the fighting and turned in by residents. Gen. Mahamet Ali Abdullah, speaking on state-run radio, claimed that government forces had killed hundreds of rebels and called on N’djamena citizens to celebrate the victory. But the capital was quiet, with most shops closed. N’DJAMENA, Chad – Government forces used attack helicopters, tanks and heavy weapons Thursday to beat back rebels who charged 600 miles in pickup trucks from the Darfur border to reach the capital of volatile, oil-producing Chad at the center of Africa. The assault underscored concerns that the civil war in Darfur, part of western Sudan, has undermined Chad President Idriss Deby’s authority and destabilized the entire region. It also showed how little control Deby wields in the countryside, where rebels cruise the desert at will. Deby blamed Sudan’s government for backing the rebels in Chad, where more than 200,000 refugees from Darfur have fled. Sudan denies the claim and accuses Chad of backing a different rebel group in Darfur. Deby said his soldiers repelled the second attempt in a month to overthrow him, but few in Chad believe the fighting is over. Residents of the outlying neighborhoods who felt the brunt of the attack moved into the center of the capital late in the day, expecting another offensive.