It was destiny to score 100th Serie A goal at San Siro, says Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain believes it was “destiny” that he scored his 100th Serie A goal in Saturday’s clash between AC Milan and Juventus.

The Argentine moved onto 99 strikes in Italian league football in Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over SPAL, but he had a second disallowed to deny him the century.

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Higuain was sure his big moment would come at San Siro against big-spending Milan and it duly did, before the 29-year-old doubled his tally in the second half to secure a 2-0 victory.

“When they disallowed the goal against SPAL, we said it was my destiny to score the 100th at San Siro,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “Now it’s 101 – not bad.

“Milan perhaps started stronger, but we played like a great team and the goal got us back on track. I think we deserved the victory.

“The coach said games never end early at San Siro and that is absolutely true. We stayed concentrated for the full 90 minutes and made only one mistake, when they hit the bar.”

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Higuain endured a slow start to the season, but coach Massimiliano Allegri now wants his front man to push on after rediscovering his best form.

“This must not be an ending point for Higuain,” he added. “He is in great shape at the moment and he is really helping the team to play better.

“Gonzalo must believe in himself much more, because he has extraordinary potential. Every now and then he rests on his laurels, which is not good for him or for us. He must demand more from himself.”


AC Milan 0 Juventus 2: Higuain-inspired champions go joint-top as Montella’s men suffer again

A landmark brace from Gonzalo Higuain secured a deserved victory for Juventus at struggling AC Milan on Saturday.

Gonzalo Higuain scored his 100th Serie A goal as Juventus claimed a 2-0 win at San Siro to move joint-top with Napoli and ramp up the pressure on AC Milan boss Vincenzo Montella.

The Argentine striker found the back of the net once in each half to take his league tally to 101 and consign Milan to a fourth consecutive home game in all competitions without a victory.

If a miserable run at San Siro does not do for head coach Montella, it may be the Rossoneri’s poor record against top-six sides this season that costs him his job – Juve followed Lazio, Roma and Inter in making light work of big-spending Milan.

While this was not a particularly poor Milan performance, they were listless in attack and their forwards’ failings were only emphasised by the presence of Higuain in the opposing ranks.

The 29-year-old thrashed a ruthless effort into the net after 23 minutes and then doubled his tally shortly after the hour-mark with a similarly devastating strike, suggesting he is returning to his prolific best after a difficult start to the campaign.

Milan could slip into the bottom half this weekend as a result, while reigning champions Juve moved level at the summit with Napoli, who host Sassuolo on Sunday.

Clearly aware of the enormity of the fixture and their desperate need for a result, Milan started at a great pace at a baying San Siro.

Gianluigi Buffon punched an early Ricardo Rodriguez free-kick away from his near post and Nikola Kalinic should have turned a shot on target amid a chaotic goalmouth scramble.

But as the blood and thunder of the opening 10 minutes faded, Juve gained a foothold and the dangerous Paulo Dybala tested Gianluigi Donnarumma from range before Higuain broke the deadlock.

Dybala fed a pass into his strike partner, who controlled instantly and snapped a finish inside the right-hand post for his landmark strike.

The Bianconeri retreated into their shell, but Milan lacked the cutting edge to make the most of a dominant end to the first half and Kalinic passed up their biggest chance as he rattled the crossbar from close range.

Milan’s momentum slowed again following a bright spell after the restart and they were grateful to twice see Dybala miscue in positions he has readily scored from in the past.

But Higuain would not miss. Dybala dummied Kwadwo Asamoah’s pass to give the former Napoli man time and space to steady himself and fire home via the base of the post.

Juve assumed complete control throughout the closing stages, with Higuain and Dybala continuing to combine but sparing Milan the humiliation of a third as Montella’s men crumbled again.


Higuain hits 100th Serie A goal with opener against Milan

Gonzalo Higuain reached 100 Serie A goals with his opener against AC Milan for Juventus on Saturday.

The Argentina international has been a scoring sensation since arriving in Italy with Napoli just over four years ago, netting 71 times in the league for the Partenopei.

17/4 for Bologna and Roma to draw

Higuain’s final 36-goal campaign at San Paolo in 2015-16 earned a reported €90million switch to Juve, where he has continued his fine form.

A tally of 24 Serie A goals secured the Scudetto in Turin last season, while this landmark effort – a stunning snapshot – was his fifth of the current campaign.

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This clash at San Siro was Higuain’s 153rd league appearance in Italy, with the 23rd-minute strike his 73rd with his right foot. He has also netted 20 with his left, six with his head and a solitary effort with his chest.


Juventus 4 SPAL 1: Bernardeschi, Dybala brilliance inspires champions to victory

First-half wondergoals from Federico Bernardeschi and Paulo Dybala helped Juventus on their way to three points against SPAL.

Juventus kept the pressure on Serie A leaders Napoli with a 4-1 win over struggling SPAL at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday.

Spectacular first-half goals from Federico Bernardeschi and Paulo Dybala set the champions on course for back-to-back league wins, before Gonzalo Higuain and Juan Cuadrado struck after the break.

Alberto Paloschi had given SPAL hope of a comeback by making it 2-1 but they saw a potential equaliser disallowed for offside and have now picked up just one point from their last eight games to sit second-from-bottom of the table.

Bernardeschi’s stunning volley put Juve ahead early on and another fine free-kick from Dybala doubled the lead after only 22 minutes, as Massimiliano Allegri’s side threatened a repeat of the goalscoring form they showed in the 6-2 thrashing of Udinese last time out.

SPAL recovered from their early jitters to make life more difficult but their heads dropped again when Higuain and Cuadrado scored in quick succession not long after the disallowed goal, and only a belated offside call denied the Argentina striker what would have been his 100th Serie A goal late on.

There was even a chance for Claudio Marchisio to make his first appearance since the opening-day win over Cagliari, the midfielder having recovered at last from a knee injury, as Juve cruised to the win that keeps them three points behind Napoli.

SPAL did well to withstand Juve’s early pressure until Bernardeschi broke the deadlock with a moment of brilliance. Douglas Costa cushioned Dybala’s low cross into the winger’s path and he unleashed a superb volley that sailed into the top-left corner of the net.

The move was Dybala’s only real bright spot in a quiet opening but, not to be undone by Bernardeschi, the Argentina star doubled his side’s lead after 22 minutes with a sublime free-kick from 25 yards out that curled high into the right of Alfred Gomis’ goal.

The champions were in control until Paloschi halved the deficit 12 minutes before the break, the striker reacting well to prod Federico Mattiello’s mishit half-volley into the net from six yards out.

SPAL started the second half with the confidence with which they finished the first and they thought they had equalised through Marios Oikonomou, only for the goal to be ruled out for an offside infringement by Paloschi after VAR consultation.

Any threat of a fightback was effectively killed off with 25 minutes remaining, however, as Higuain smashed the ball left-footed into the bottom-right corner for his fourth league goal of the season after SPAL had failed to clear the area following a corner.

Juve could finally relax and they soon added a fourth, the lively Costa crossing for substitute Cuadrado to head home at the far post, despite Gomis’ efforts to parry the ball away.

Higuain was denied a landmark goal late on after a VAR check, but Allegri’s side eased to a win that keeps them third third, behind Inter and Napoli, ahead of Saturday’s trip to San Siro to take on AC Milan.


Higuain has ‘nothing to prove’ despite latest Argentina snub

Jorge Sampaoli has left Gonzalo Higuain out of his Argentina squad once again but told the Juventus striker he has “nothing to prove”.

Higuain has not featured for Argentina since the 1-0 friendly win over Brazil last June – Sampaoli’s first game at the helm after taking over from Edgardo Bauza.

Higuain 23/10 first scorer v Udinese

The 29-year-old has endured a difficult start to the season with Juventus, scoring just four goals in 12 appearances, and was overlooked for the crunch World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Ecuador.

Lionel Messi ensured Argentina will not be absent from the competition in Russia with a hat-trick in Quito and Sampaoli does not think Higuain can do anything more to try and earn a place in the squad.

“Higuain is a player who is very present. I have him in my mind and I know what he represents. With him there is nothing to prove,” said the former Sevilla boss.

Gonzalo Higuain Argentina

“It will be up to us to make an evaluation and decide whether he will go to the World Cup or not.”

Sergio Aguero is recalled after a rib injury following a car accident ruled him out of Sampaoli’s previous group, while Matias Kranevitter and Diego Perotti have been selected.

Argentina will take on Russia in Moscow on November 10 with another friendly expected to be confirmed shortly.

The Argentina boss will supplement Friday’s selection of players with a contingent of domestic-based players.

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Sampaoli confirmed that players from River Plate and Boca Juniors, who will dispute the Superclasico on November 5, will be allowed to join up with the squad following the famous derby clash, although he revealed no names from the Primera Division.

Argentina squad: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres UANL), Agustin Marchesin (Club America); Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Federico Fazio (Roma), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), German Pezzella (Fiorentina); Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Leandro Paredes (Zenit), Emiliano Rigoni (Zenit), Matias Kranevitter (Zenit), Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta), Diego Perotti (Roma); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Mauro Icardi (Inter), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus).