Tag Archives: Gonzalo Higuain

Juventus rises to Serie A summit as Napoli draws with Inter Milan

Published by:

Juventus rose to the top of Serie A after Napoli were forced to a goalless draw against Inter Milan at San Siro.

Forward Paulo Dybala, who scored in Juventus’s midweek win over Tottenham, curled home a superb first-half free kick before slotting in a second just after the break from Gonzalo Higuain’s ball.

However, Higuain also missed a penalty after Dybala had been fouled.

“After the drama of Wednesday night, there was a risk that we might have gone into this match too relaxed,” Dybala said. “Instead we showed character and experience to seal all three points.”

“I’m happy to have helped the team with my goals. We’re putting pressure on our rivals and we keep moving forwards. It all depends on us now.”

Previously, Napoli had led the table by a point on Sunday morning but were deposed when Juve defeated Udinese 2-0 in the afternoon, and after they missed out on three points from their evening trip to Milan that would have restored their status as front-runners for the Scudetto.

The Azzurri could even be as far as four points adrift of Juve should the Bianconeri make the most of their game in hand against Atalanta, which takes place in Turin on Wednesday night.

Nonetheless, Napoli had started well against Inter, and the Milan team found themselves packed into their own half until the half-hour mark, although Antonio Candreva managed to send a drive inches wide of Jose Reina’s post.

Things were more even after the restart, with Slovakian centre-back Skriniar headed against the Napoli bar as Lorenzo Insigne curling the ball just off target.

The latter was also unfortunate when trying and failing to net with a volleyed swipe of Dries Mertens’ clever assist, while mistake by Napoli allowed Mauro Icardi to snaffle the ball and take aim but Reina stood firm to collect.

Inter, however, missed out on a last opportunity to score in the 86th minute when Joao Cancelo swung a free-kick into a packed Napoli box. However, Reina punched clear with confidence and the points were shared.

Higuain recalled but Dybala and Icardi snubbed from Argentina squad

Published by:

Argentina national coach Jorge Sampaoli has recalled Gonzalo Higuain to the Argentina squad for this month’s friendlies against Italy and Spain but has snubbed Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi.

Higuain, 30, is sidelined with an ankle problem and is a doubt for Juventus’ vital Champions League clash with Tottenham next week. However, his 14 Serie A goals this season is enough to persuade Sampaoli to select the striker for the first time since September.

On the other hand, Higuain’s Juve team-mate Dybala misses out alongside Icardi, the Inter captain who has only scored once since the turn of the year.

Dybala has only made a pair of substitute appearances recently since returning from a hamstring injury.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has been, like Higuain, dropped earlier this season — reflecting the considerable strength Sampaoli enjoys in forward positions, but his prolific recent run for Manchester City made the 29-year-old a safe selection this time around.

As yet uncapped Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero, 36, has been called up alongside Sergio Romero and Nahuel Guzman.

Argentina squad in full: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres), Willy Caballero (Chelsea); Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Roma), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla) Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica) Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax); Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Leandro Paredes (Zenit), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain); Diego Perotti (Roma) Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus)

Champions League: Eriksen and Kane strikes cancel early Higuain brace

Published by:

Tottenham Hotspurs put up a spirited performance against Juventus at Turin as both Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen struck to cancel out an early Gonzalo Higuain brace.

The opening of the game saw a disastrous start to Spurs’ Champions League last-16 first leg when Higuain completed a brace of goals in 10 minutes, first with a volley and then a converted penalty awarded for Ben Davies’ foul on Federico Bernardeschi.

But Spurs kept pressing and found their way back into the game when Eriksen dispossessed Giorgio Chiellini and within a few quick passes see Dele Alli sending Kane scurrying through, with the stiker then calmly rounding Buffon before rolling home a precious away goal.

The goal appeared to gave Spurs confidence as they dominated possession and with Higuain himself missing out on a first-half hat-trick after the Argentinian failed to convert a second spot-kick, awarded for Serge Aurier’s poor challenge on Douglas Costa.

Spurs, who along with their opponents played the second half tighter and more controlled, finally found their equalizer through Eriksen’s set-piece from 25 yards out. The strike was hard and low and wrong-footed Gianluigi Buffon, giving the keeper no chance.

It was therefore only natural as Mauricio Pochettino praised his Tottenham team’s character after they overcame adversity of playing away and going into the second leg with two precious away goals that could prove to be a defining advantage.

“At 2-0 down, my feeling was so bad,” Pochettino said. “We started sloppily. But we showed great character and I feel so proud. We are a young team in this competition. To show that kind of performance was fantastic.”

“We dominated possession and forced them to play deeper, and only use the counterattack. We were so focused. Only the opening minutes were difficult to handle. But after that, we dominated Juventus and that is a thing to praise.

“Not many teams come here and dominate Juventus. We showed we are mature enough to compete in this competition. It is my fourth season at the club and we are always improving in different aspects.”

Serie A: Juventus decimates Sassuolo as Napoli stays ahead with win

Published by:

Juventus thrashed Sassuolo in the Serie A by 7-0 even as Napoli maintained their one-point lead with a 2-0 win over Benevento.

Alex Sandro opened the scoring after nine minutes as Sassuolo failed to clear a corner and, and despite the visitor’s efforts to get back into the game their spell of possession ended with a Juventus breakaway which culminated with a corner that found Sami Khedira unmaked, allowing the German international freedom to slot in Juve’s second goal.

A clever pass from Miralem Pjanic a couple of minutes later saw Juventus add their third goal and a second for Sami Khedira as they sprung Sassuolo’s offside trap, before Pjanic himself made it 4-0 as he fired home from the edge of the area.

Striker Gonzalo Higuain joined the scorers as he made it five with a shot from the edge of the area at 63 minutes, and beat the offside trap to collect a long ball and rounded the keeper before sliding home with a little over 15 minutes remaining.

Higuain then grabbed his third to complete his hat-trick with eight minutes to go as he latched onto Bernardeschi’s fine pass and lifted the ball over the diving keeper from a narrow angle.

Earlier Benevento, Higuain’s former club Napoli started strongly and got their first goal in 20 minutes when Dries Mertens made a clever turn and chip the ball into the far corner.

The visitors continued to keep up the pressure as Lorenzo Insigne’s lob hitting the woodwork, and their effort bore fruit when Marek Hamsik tucked home from close range early in the second half.

The game also saw VAR came into play as Benevento were given a penalty for a foul in the box, but the Video Assistant Referee spotted an offside in the lead-up and changed the decision.