Juventus
    Juventus
      12.02.2017 23:01 - in: Match report S

      Predatory Pipita seals win in Sardinia

      Share with:
      • 1
      • 3
      • 2
      Gonzalo Higuain’s goals either side of half-time ensure Juventus see off Cagliari 2-0 on Sunday night in Sardinia

      Juventus maintained their seven-point lead at the Serie A summit after tonight’s 2-0 victory away to Cagliari at the Stadio Sant’Elia.

      This latest success, an eighth in nine games so far in 2017, came about in no small part thanks to Gonzalo Higuain’s predatory strikes either side of the interval that put the Argentine forward on 21 goals for the season in all competitions.

      With Cagliari unbeaten in their previous three home matches and Juve having won their last two on the road, something had to give on the night, although for the first 36 minutes it was not at all clear which way the wind would eventually blow as both teams cancelled out one another, Mario Mandzukic’s glanced header wide the only opportunity of note until Higuain netted his first of the evening.

      Pipita’s strike was the fruit of a fine pass forwards from Claudio Marchisio, which carved open Cagliari’s backline and found Juve’s leading scorer in a pocket space on the right, leaving him with the task of lifting the ball delightfully over the onrushing Rafael and into the far corner to hand the visitors a half-time lead they’d just about merited.

      Within two minutes of the restart, the Bianconeri were 2-0 up and there was no surprise about the man responsible for extending their advantage, Higuain needing just one touch to control Paulo Dybala’s pass and another to slide coolly under Rafael from a similarly acute angle to his opener.

      Any hopes the hosts might have had of a comeback were dealt a serious blow on 68 minutes when Nicolò Barella picked up his second yellow card for a late challenge on Miralem Pjanic. That said, the Rossoblù would be at their most dangerous shortly after his dismissal, Gianluigi Buffon reaching for his Superman cape in keeping out Fabio Pisacane’s piledriver before Bruno Alves flashed a free-kick just whiskers wide of the post from range.

      In the meantime, Mandzukic missed a gilt-edged chance to make it 3-0, nodding wide with the net at his mercy following a lightning quick counter-attack and the Croatian would be denied dramatically by the crossbar in injury-time, as Rafael then somehow kept out Dybala’s instinctive, goalbound header on the rebound.

      Just as against Crotone, however, Massimiliano Allegri will be more than satisfied with the way his side managed to see out an ultimately comfortable victory and keep a fifth straight Serie A clean sheet in the process: all ingredients that bode well for the upcoming matches against Palermo on Friday and, of course, Porto in the Champions League the following Wednesday.

      Onwards and upwards, Bianconeri!

      Share with:
      • 1
      • 3
      • 2
      Information on the use of cookies
      This website uses cookies and, in some cases, third-party cookies for marketing purposes and to provide services in line with your preferences.
      If you want to know more about our cookie policy click here.
      By clicking OK, or closing this banner, or browsing the website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.
      OK