Buffon: I want people to be sad when I quit
- Author: Arturo Norris May 06, 2017,
May 06, 2017, 15:38
"Goals were not coming for me in this competition but I knew I just had to stay calm and keep working hard", said Higuain after ending a seven-game run without scoring in the Champions League knockout stages.
Higuain took his tally of Champions League goals this season to five, his best campaign in the club competition, and he now has more than 30 goals in all competitions.
A second away goal put Juve firmly in the driving seat on 59 minutes as Dybala released Alves on the right with a neat flick, and the Brazilian sent in a pin-point cross for Higuain to slide the ball home at the back post.
The Juventus bench rose as one after Higuain slid in to turn home a deep cross in the 59th, with the irrepressible Alves again the provider.
This game was also the first time Monaco had failed to score in a match at Stade Louis II since November 2015. A strangely poor return for such a prolific striker. Striker Gonzalo Higuain has scored 29 goals this season (although he hasn't scored in a Champions League knock-out tie for four years) while the dynamic Paulo Dybala has been directly involved in 25 goals in his role just behind the striker.
Monaco did grow into the game after a slow start and teen sensation Kylian Mbappe was first to test Gianluigi Buffon with a header from Nabil Dirar's ball that the veteran goalkeeper held easily. He produced two or three wonderful saves.
"On Buffon, what can I say", Max Allegri said afterwards. Also with the quality of the wingers, which we can change players while always keeping the game setting.
Juventus' Andrea Barzagli, right, and Juventus' Mario Lemina celebrate after winning the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Monaco and Juventus at the Louis II stadium in Monaco, Wednesday, May 3, 2017.
The home-side should have levelled up the tie a minute into the restart when Bernardo Silva picked out Radamel Falcao whose weak effort from inside the area was easily gathered by Buffon; a chance the 31-year old may have dispatched in his prime. The back line of Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon stood firm as they cancelled out Monaco's risky front line.
Monaco attacked relentlessly after the break, with Buffon diving at the feet of Mbappe minutes after his save from Falcao.
Monaco found little joy through the middle and so opted for speed down the flanks.
Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim, like his counterpart Allegri, made sure to praise Buffon, who rolled back the years to frustrate teenage talent Mbappe.