Friday, 19 October, 2018

Higuain shines as Juventus beat Monaco

Frederick Owens | 10 May, 2017, 04:43

The principality side look set to bow out of the Champions League in the semi-finals after losing 2-0 at home to a superior Juventus at the Stade Louis II in Wednesday's first leg.

Gianluigi Buffon says his motivation is to continue proving he belongs at the highest level and wants people to be sad when he eventually ends his playing career.

The team is also in the Italian Cup final, where it will face Lazio, and there is the feeling that this could be the year Juventus emulates the Inter Milan team of 2010 by winning the treble.

Monaco, free scoring and unsafe with their youthful side all season, showed moments of threat which could unnerve Juve in the second leg on 9 May.

"We could've played better technically, but we scored a goal on the counter, which is Monaco's greatest strength". Alves assisted both of Higuain's goals on the night.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri: "These lads are having a season which could become something quite extraordinary".

"It would definitely be a special situation because I played for seven years at Madrid".

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Buffon, who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006, has won nearly all there is to win in the game - apart from the Champions League. "They created a couple of good chances after we took the lead, but Gigi (Buffon) was there to save again so there's plenty to be happy about".

"Our lack of a cutting edge was in large part due to his work in goal: He pulled off two or three incredible saves".

Keane was a little more glowing in his praise of the performance put up by Juventus, as they established a dominant position in the tie ahead of the second leg in Italy next week.

But the Juventus defence often had every angle covered, and Buffon was there when they didn't. "I talked to the players, I told them we needed to believe", Jardim said.

Gonzalo Higuain scored twice as Paulo Dybala and Dani Alves kept the pressure on Monaco from the right. Mbappe, once again, came close to score a goal but he was denied by Juventus' centre-backs.

After defensive midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko gave possession away carelessly down the right, Alves patiently waited for Higuain to change his initial run to the penalty spot, and lofted over a precise pass that fell perfectly into his path at the back post.

Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon played his part with a string of crucial saves, notably from a shot from Colombia striker Radamel Falcao and when he tipped a Valere Germain header over his bar in the closing stages.

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