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The visitors took the lead inside the first minute when Emil Hallfredsson latched on to a clearance on the edge of the box and powered a volley into the far corner of the net.
Hallfredsson almost scored his second in the ninth minute when he burst into the box and had his shot parried by the keeper, before Luca Toni missed the chance to score from the rebound.
The match was being played at a frantic pace and Higuain was the next player to be denied as his powerful shot was turned behind.
Jorginho then tried his luck with a strike from just inside the box that was beaten away by the keeper.
With a minute of the half left to play Hamsik volleyed in from close range after Jose Callejon's cross had deflected to him kindly to ensure the two teams went into the break on level terms.