Many people questioned the €90 million Juventus paid for Gonzalo Higuaín last summer, primarily for his failure to score in the most critical moments, but the Argentinian proved the difference in the Stade Louis II as Juventus beat Monaco in their Champions League semi-final first leg.
Despite scoring 29 goals in all competitions this season before Wednesday evening much was made of Higuaín’s record in the Champions League and so when the 29-year-old lost his footing after good work from Paulo Dybala in the early stages, the critics pounced.
However, before the half hour mark an exquisite break down the right between Dybala and Dani Alves resulted in the Brazilian back-heeling the ball into the path of Higuaín, who showed no hesitation in drilling the ball low past Danijel Subašić.
— Rock And Gol (@ElRockAndGol) May 4, 2017
Given Juventus’ virtually impenetrable defence, just the one away goal would have left a daunting task for Monaco in the second leg but Higuaín made it seemingly impossible with a second goal after half time.
Alves was again the architect and this time his deep cross was ruthlessly slid into the net to mark 31 goals in all competitions for Higuaín.
— Siddhant Prakash (@siddhantprokash) May 3, 2017
Juventus haven’t lost in Turin by two goals since April 2013 and given how few goals the Bianconeri concede, a Juve-Real Madrid Champions League final looks almost certain.
The five goals that Higuaín has scored in this season’s Champions League is the striker’s best ever tally and the 29-year-old said at full-time: “I fight so hard for these moments. Goals were not coming for me in this competition but I knew I just had to stay calm and keep working hard.”
Juve remain on course for a historic treble with Higuaín and Paulo Dybala proving instrumental.