Higuain, Dybala Score As Juventus Stay Top Of Serie A

Juventus’ Argentinian forward Gonzalo Higuain (C) celebrates with German midfielder Emre Can (L), Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey (2ndL) and Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci (R) after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match against Atalanta Bergamo on November 23, 2019 at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia stadium in Bergamo. Miguel MEDINA / AFP

 

 

Gonzalo Higuain grabbed a second-half brace with Paulo Dybala adding a late third as Juventus rescued a 3-1 comeback win over Atalanta in the final quarter of an hour to stay top of Serie A on Saturday.

Robin Gosens had nodded Atalanta ahead after 56 minutes as the Bergamo side chased their first Serie A win over Juventus since February 2001.

Higuain hit back with two goals in an eight-minute spell while Dybala marked his 200th Serie A appearance with the final goal two minutes into injury time.

Maurizio Sarri’s side open up a four-point lead on second-placed Inter Milan, who travel to Torino later on Saturday, as Atalanta drop to sixth place after their fourth league game without a win.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed the trip to Bergamo despite his four-goal spree for Portugal because of a slight knee problem ahead of Juventus’s Champions League game against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

In the absence of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Argentine strike duo Dybala and Higuain ensured the eight-time reigning champions maintained their unbeaten run this season despite several controversial refereeing decisions.

Higuain had pulled Juventus level after 74 minutes with a ball that took a deflection off Rafael Toloi to beat Pierluigi Gollini in the Atalanta goal.

The Argentine completed his double when he picked up a cross from Juan Cuadrado on 82 where the Colombian put his hand on the ball during a sliding tackle at the start of the action.

Then Dybala broke through the Atalanta defence to finish off for his fourth Serie A goal this season.

Atalanta had their chances with Musa Barrow missing an early penalty.

The 21-year-old Gambian rattled the crossbar after 17 minutes following a penalty awarded for a Sami Khedira handball.

Inter will be looking to make it a perfect seven league games on the road this season as they travel to Torino.

Serie A runners-up Napoli, in seventh, desperately need a result at 14th-placed AC Milan, who are themselves floundering.

Higuain Keen To Earn Permanent Chelsea Move

Chelsea’s Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain warms up ahead of the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in London on January 27, 2019. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Chelsea striker Gonzalo Higuain is still desperate to earn a permanent move to the Premier League despite a difficult spell since arriving at Stamford Bridge on loan in January.

The Argentine has scored just three goals, against already relegated Fulham and Huddersfield, in 11 appearances as Chelsea toil to claim a top-four finish.

READ ALSO: Arsenal Still Control Top-Four Race, Says Emery

However, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri showed his faith in Higuain by including him from the start for Monday’s clash with West Ham despite Olivier Giroud’s better record in front of goal in recent weeks.

Higuain’s time at the club will definitely come to an end if Chelsea cannot overturn a one-year transfer ban imposed by FIFA.

But he is hoping to prove his worth on the pitch to make the move a permanent one from Juventus should Chelsea’s appeal be upheld.

“From a personal point of view I want to do as well as I can so I can be here for next season,” Higuain told the club’s website.

“I came here and I wanted to stay. It’s a good city, you live well and you can be relaxed but also enjoy yourself. So my intention is to stay here.

“I’m happy here. It’s always nice to try a new league and it’s my first taste of the Premier League.”

AFP

Hazard Impressed By ‘Unbelievable’ Higuain

Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard applauds as he leaves the pitch substituted during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge in London on February 2, 2019.
Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Eden Hazard believes Gonzalo Higuain’s first two goals for Chelsea in Saturday’s 5-0 rout of Huddersfield are just the beginning for the Argentine ace, with whom he foresees a potentially lethal partnership in the Premier League run in.

The Belgian also scored a double against the Terriers as Maurizio Sarri’s men bounced back from a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Bournemouth in midweek that plunged the Italian’s future into question.

Sarri worked with Higuain when the Argentine scored a record 36 Serie A goals in a single season at Napoli.

And Higuain showed why he has a stellar scoring record over the past decade in Spanish and Italian football with two excellent finishes to open his Premier League account.

“He’s a great striker. He’s a bit less of a target man than (Olivier) Giroud, but he can hold the ball, he can play one touches. He’s intelligent,” said Hazard.

“In the box he’s unbelievable. He will score more goals.”

Victory lifted Chelsea back into the top four above Arsenal, who visit Manchester City on Sunday.

However, Chelsea face their own daunting run of fixtures in February with two clashes against City in the Premier League next weekend and the League Cup final as well a FA Cup tie against Manchester United and Tottenham visiting Stamford Bridge at the end of the month.

“This month is going to be hard,” admitted Hazard. “But we are Chelsea. We can beat everyone if we want.”

Higuain Hits Brace As Chelsea Rout Huddersfield

Higuain Hits Brace As Chelsea Rout Huddersfield
Chelsea’s Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain (2L) celebrates scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge in London on February 2, 2019. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Maurizio Sarri backed Gonzalo Higuain to form a lethal partnership with Eden Hazard as the Chelsea striker’s first goals for his new club inspired a 5-0 demolition of Huddersfield on Saturday.

Blues boss Sarri had been under fire after Chelsea suffered their heaviest Premier League defeat for 23 years in a humiliating 4-0 loss at Bournemouth on Wednesday.

Amid reports the Italian is already in danger of the sack less than a year after taking charge, he was indebted to his old friend Higuain for lifting the gloom around Stamford Bridge.

Higuain, signed on loan from Juventus at Sarri’s behest after their successful spell together at Napoli, opened his account early in the first half of Chelsea’s biggest win of the season.

It was the start of an influential display from the Argentine and, with Hazard free to return to his preferred role on the flanks after a spell up front, Chelsea looked far more vibrant.

READ ALSO: Leverkusen Shock Bayern As Dortmund Go Seven Points Clear

“When Higuain arrived he wasn’t at the top of his physical condition. Now he is improving. Apart from the goals, my feeling is he is really very suitable to play close to Hazard,” Sarri said.

“For us it is very useful, for Higuain, he will be able to score a lot of goals, but also it will be good for Eden.”

Hazard’s controversial penalty doubled Chelsea’s lead before half-time after referee Paul Tierney ruled Cesar Azpilicueta was fouled inside the area, when the offence actually took place just outside.

That welcome piece of good fortune for Sarri was followed by further goals for Hazard, Higuain and David Luiz after the interval as Chelsea ended a run of two successive league defeats in emphatic fashion.

“We started really very well. In the first 20 to 25 minutes I saw my football. We moved the ball very fast,” Sarri said.

“But we need to understand that we shouldn’t need to lose a game to have motivation.

“We have to improve on this, the consistency, the motivation. We need to improve the mentality.”

After winning for only the second time in their last five league matches, Chelsea climb back into fourth place three points above Arsenal, who face Manchester City on Sunday, as they battle to qualify for the Champions League.

While Chelsea’s winter of discontent won’t seem so bleak for Sarri now, the Blues remain at a crossroads.

Much sterner tests await than Huddersfield, who are rooted to the bottom of the table and look destined for relegation after an 11th defeat in their last 12 league games.

Chelsea face a season-defining period that includes the League Cup final against Manchester City and meetings with Manchester United in the FA Cup and City and Tottenham in the league.

“It will be very difficult, but also for our opponents I think,” Sarri said.

Higuain Makes Debuts For Chelsea In FA Cup

Chelsea’s Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain warms up ahead of the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in London on January 27, 2019. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

New signing Gonzalo Higuain will make his Chelsea debut on Sunday after being named in Maurizio Sarri’s starting XI for the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Sheffield Wednesday.

The Argentinian striker was signed on loan until the end of the season from Juventus on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old former Real Madrid and Napoli player will be expected to help Chelsea rediscover their form in front of goal after scoring just five goals in their last six Premier League games.

Higuain, who played the first half of the season on loan at AC Milan, netted a Serie A record 36 goals under Sarri for Napoli in the 2015-16 campaign.

AFP

AC Milan’s Higuain Poised For Chelsea Move – Report

Gonzalo Higuain. Credit: @BBCSport

 

AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain has “agreed to terms” and is set for an imminent move to Premier League club Chelsea, Italian sports daily Gazzetta Dello Sport reported on Wednesday.

Higuain joined Milan on a season-long loan from Juventus in July with an option to buy but has struggled to settle at the San Siro, scoring eight goals in all competitions.

And the 31-year-old Argentina international wants to join former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri at the English club which would take over his 36 million euro ($41 million) buy-out clause.

“Chelsea have an agreement with Higuain to take him immediately,” Gazzetta reported.

Higuain had his most successful season under Sarri, breaking the Serie A goalscoring record with 36 goals in the 2015/16 campaign.

He scored 91 goals during his three years at the club before moving to Juventus in 2016 on a 90 million euro deal.

He previously spent six years at Real Madrid before starting his career at River Plate in Argentina.

Higuain had been hampered by a back injury earlier in the season but broke his two-month goal-scoring drought before the winter break.

Milan’s sporting director Leonardo, however, warned on Tuesday he had to get down to work.

“He had a tough moment, he has to put it behind him and get to work,” said Leonardo.

“A goal can change things, but if he is to continue here, he needs to take on responsibility.”

Brazilian Leonardo added: “There’s no point following rumours and gossip.

“He is here right now. Seeing as he is here, he needs to get down and actually do something for this team.”

AFP

Higuain Hopeful Of Napoli Return Despite Hand Surgery

Juventus’ forward from Argentina Gonzalo Higuain reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match Juventus Barcelona on November 22, 2017 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. Photo: Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

Argentina ace Gonzalo Higuain could play Friday’s Serie A clash against Napoli despite a broken finger, Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta has insisted.

Champions Juventus, four points behind Napoli, travel to the San Paolo Stadium on Friday before two other crunch ties — a Champions League trip to Olympiakos on December 5 and a Serie A clash against second-place Inter Milan on December 9.

“Today surgery can produce real miracles. Gonzalo has 50 percent chance of playing at the San Paolo,” Marotta told Sky Sports Italia on the sidelines of Monday night’s Grand Gala del Calcio awards organised by the Italian Footballer’s Association.

The 29-year-old Higuain, who left Napoli in 2016 for Turin in a 90 million euro deal, and has scored 10 goals this season, underwent surgery on a fractured bone in his left hand earlier on Monday.

“It’s an important game against Napoli, but I don’t think it’ll be decisive for the end of the season. Of course we’ll try to honour it in the best way,” said Marotta.

“Generally this game comes when Juventus aren’t at the top, but we’re aware how hard the match is and while we respect them, we’re not afraid.”

Despite two lost Champions League finals in the past three years — 2015 and 2017 — Marotta said that they were not focusing more on Europe this season.

“We know that the charm of the Champions League is unique. But let’s not forget that we play in Italy and we want to honour the championship in the best way, winning what is just as beautiful a cup for the seventh time (in a row).”

Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic added: “Higuain is very motivated, we will see if he will be available against Napoli. We hope so, but even if he’s not we will do our best to get to the three points.

“It will be a match between two beautiful teams, who will battle to the end for the Scudetto.

“We have many champions and, although we have shown some struggles, we want to win the Scudetto which is the number one goal, hoping to be able to continue the Champions League.”

Juventus are second in the Group D behind already qualified Barcelona and a point ahead of third-place Sporting Lisbon, needing to secure their Champions League qualification at Olympiakos.

AFP

Messi, Ronaldo Others Contend For 2016 Ballon d’Or

Ballon d'Or, Lionel Messi, Cristiano RonaldoFootball legend, Lionel Messi has been shortlisted alongside Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2016 Ballon d’Or award.

France Football magazine reveals that the 30-man list is being released in bunches of five players throughout Monday, October 24.

The award which has been given annually by France Football since 1956 has become the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the past six years.

Barcelona forward, Messi has bagged the honour for a record fifth time while Real Madrid’s Ronaldo has won the award three times.

ronaldo_2788476b
Cristiano Ronaldo

The French magazine has released the names of 30 nominees of the 2016 Ballon d’Or.

Full List
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City & Argentina)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund & Gabon)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid & Wales)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus & Argentina)
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid & Uruguay)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid & France)
Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus & Argentina)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United & Sweden)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona & Spain)
Koke (Atletico Madrid & Spain)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid & Germany)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern München & Poland)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur & France)
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City & Algeria)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid & Croatia)
Thomas Müller (Bayern München & Germany)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern München & Germany)
Neymar (Barcelona & Brazil)
Dimitri Payet (West Ham & France)
Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Paul Pogba (Juventus/Manchester United & France)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid & Spain)
Rui Patricio (Sporting CP & Portugal)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Luis Suárez (Barcelona & Uruguay)
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City & England)
Arturo Vidal (Bayern München & Chile).

 

Chile Wins Copa America

Hchileost nation, Chile, won the Copa America for the first time in the 99-year history of the tournament, after they beat Argentina 4-1 on penalties.

The game produced few chances in regulation time with the best coming in when Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez volley went wide in the 83rd minute.

In the 92nd minute, Argentina had a huge opportunity to seal the win, but Gonzalo Higuain could only find the side net after a beautiful interplay between Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

The game went into penalty after extra-time ended goalless and only Messi converted his own shot with Higuain and Ever Banega missing from the spot, while Sanchez converted his spot kick to send the home crowd into wild jubilation.

Expressing his delight, the Chile Midfielder, Arturo Vidal, said: ”This is something so nice for all the Chilean people.

”We Chileans needed a triumph, something like this Cup, today we took an incredible step, we’re America’s best”

He also told reporters that they (the team) will fight a lot in the next World Cup.