Gonzalo Higuain netted a winner as Juevntus, targetting their ninth successive Serie A title, handed Inter Milan their first defeat of the season at the San Siro on Sunday.

The 2-1 win – sixth for Juventus from their seven games this season – put the defending champions on the top of the points table with 19 points against their name, one more than the second-placed Inter Milan.

Paulo Dybala opened the account to fire Juventus into the lead. The Argentine took the Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic by surprise after Miralem Pjanic set up the goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo then came tantalizingly close to double the Juventus lead but was denied – first after rattling the crossbar and then when a goal was ruled out as Dybala was in an offside position.

Inter, meanwhile, scored an equaliser after Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt handled the ball and Dybala’s compatriot, Lautaro Martinez, levelled from the spot, drilling one past Wojciech Szczesny in the 18th minute.

Maurizo Sarri then made a double substitution as he brought in in-form Higuain and Rodrigo Bentacur.

Higuain, who was warming the bench despite scoring in Juventus’s 3-0 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen earlier in the week, hit the back of the net in the 80th minute. Ronaldo and Bentancur played their part in setting up the goal.

Szczesny the did a fine job denying Matias Vecino as Inter Milan tried desperately to score an equaliser.

While Juventus moved to the top spot, manager Sarri made it clear that overtaking at the top spot at this juncture is insignificant.

“The important things is that we showed a performance of character and personality against a strong team in a high-tension environment. We deserved to win,” said Sarri following Juventus’ win.