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After all, this was a penalty that was in all probability overloaded with significance for each striker and goalkeeper. Szczesny, for instance, will hardly have failed to note the tough criticism generated by his mid-week efficiency in opposition to Man Utd. Former England midfielder Paul Scholes argued that Szczesny was the one Juventus weak hyperlink, telling BT Sport that the participant had struggled for 5 years at Arsenal “and it doesn’t appear like he has improved….”
Szczesny might need a had some extent to show however, arguably, Higuain had an excellent larger rating to settle. His profession in recent times has been fairly an odyssey. Considerably “under-appreciated” at Actual Madrid, he took the gamble of shifting in 2013 to Napoli, the place he turned the totally idolised kingpin, scoring a report 36 Serie A objectives within the 2015-2016 season.
After three seasons, nevertheless, Higuain “betrayed” the Napoli followers by signing for Juventus in the summertime of 2016. The concept was that he was going to be the person who would make the distinction, would rating the “heavy” objectives that will lastly win the Champions League. Historical past will argue that he failed in that endeavour.
This summer season, Juventus clearly franked that view once they opted to dump him to make means for one more participant from who has been referred to as on to make them Champions League glory, particularly his former Actual Madrid crew mate, one Cristiano Ronaldo. Inevitably, Higuain would dearly have appreciated to attain in opposition to Juventus, if solely indirectly to revive skilled satisfaction after being painfully rejected by the Turin membership.
All of which fits some method to clarify, if to not justify, Higuain’s 83rd second of insanity when he “misplaced it”, incomes himself a purple card from refereee Paolo Mazzoleni, following a foul on Benatia. The purple card got here for dissent because the livid Higuain screamed at Mazzoleni, saying “you all the time guide me, you all the time guide me”.
Beside himself with rage (for which he later apologised) Higuain needed to be hauled off by crew mates previous and current to cease him incomes himself a brilliant heavy ban. He can be fortunate if the inevitable suspension is proscribed to the same old two days.
Higuain’s excessive exaggeration, nevertheless, was the expression of a pent-up frustration that got here as a lot from the sense that there was nothing to do in opposition to this Juventus as from his personal private disappointment at lacking the penalty. Not for nothing, the Higuain strain cooker exploded simply two minutes after Ronaldo (who else) had wrapped up the sport with a simple tap-in.
If Juve’ win in opposition to Milan, confirming their six level lead over Napoli, hardly comes beneath the banner of “shock”, the identical can’t be mentioned of Inter’s Four-1 collapse away to Atalanta. One week in the past, we argued that a good efficiency in Inter’s midweek Champions League tie with Barcelona might show to be a watershed second of their season. A late 1-1 draw with Barca was hardly a convincing triumph nevertheless it no less than appeared to point that Luciano Spalletti’s Inter had been turning into a crew of significant “character”.
Which is much more than you’d be tempted to say after watching their wretched efficiency in opposition to an Atalanta facet which ran them proper off the park. “La pazza Inter”, the mad Inter is again amongst us. Alternatively, the strongest Atalanta, after the frustration of an early season elimination from the Europa League, they too are again amongst us.
Two last ideas – Napoli’s comeback on Saturday evening in a 2-1 away win over Genoa (torrential downpour and briefly suspended match however ) and Roma’s Four-1 residence win over Sampdoria will do their Champions League prospects no hurt when that competitors resumes after the subsequent ten days of Nations League motion.
For instance, when Roma swing again into Champions League motion, they face a captivating residence tie v Actual Madrid. Within the meantime, Italy face an equally fascinating, doubtlessly decisive Nations League conflict with European champions Portugal on the San Siro subsequent Saturday evening when the highest of the desk in League A, Group three is at stake. All to play for…
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