Juventus
    30.01.2018 22:59 - in: Match report S

    Juve take TIM Cup advantage

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    Higuain’s early strike proves decisive as Bianconeri lead at semi-final halfway point over Atalanta

    Gonzalo Higuain picked up right where he left off scoring in the 3rd minute to give the Bianconeri an advantage through the first 90 minutes of the two-legged TIM Cup semi-final vs Atalanta.

    The Argentine’s goal, coupled with some heroics from the returning Gianluigi Buffon see Juventus take a 1-0 lead home with 90 minutes left to play.

    A pulsating first half saw the Bianconeri take the lead after less than three minutes. Higuain latched onto a ball making a powerful run into the box. The Argentine juked a defender opening space to blast a right-footed shot past Etrit Berisha for Juve’s earliest goal this season after just two minutes and 29 seconds.

    The Bianconeri would see multiple efforts go close before the hosts were awarded a PK after the consultation of VAR when Medhi Benatia was whistled for handling in the box. However, back for his first start since early December at Napoli, the legendary Gianluigi Buffon denied Papu Gomez for the 20th penalty kick save of his Juve career.

    Juve nearly found a second in the 36th minute after a flowing move from midfield saw Mario Mandzukic lay a ball off at the top of the box to Blaise Matuidi, but the Frenchman blasted the effort just over and the Bianconeri took a 1-0 lead into the half-time break.

    The home side came out in the second half looking for an equalizer but Buffon was again equal to an effort from Gomez from the top of the box. From there on, Juve did a wonderful job of managing the game with an Atalanta team full of firepower kept to just a few half-chances.

    The 1-0 win sees the Bianconeri take an advantage back to Allianz Stadium for the second leg set for Wednesday, 28 February while Massimiliano Allegri’s side returns to Serie A play at home on Sunday against Sassuolo.

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