Goal hun­gry Higuain and Icardi cross swords in clas­sic In­ter-Juve tie

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

AR­GEN­TINE strik­ers Gon­zalo Higuain and Mauro Icardi are level on three goals from as many games when they lead the at­tacks of Ju­ven­tus and In­ter Mi­lan on Sun­day in a clas­sic Serie A en­counter.

Both scored a brace last week­end when reign­ing cham­pi­ons Juve de­feated Sas­suolo 3-1 to go alone at the top on a max­i­mum nine points, while the Ner­az­zurri ral­lied to a last-gasp 2-1 win at new­com­ers Pescara for a four-point tally.

Things were not as rosy for Juve in a Cham­pi­ons League opener they drew 0-0 at home to Sevilla yes­ter­day, with Higuain nod­ding his best chance against the bar and most Bian­coneri play­ing be­low par.

“For me we could have been bet­ter in the way we moved the ball, and of­ten the pass to split the de­fence was miss­ing,” coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri said.

“I’m not too con­cerned, I’m con­fi­dent we’ll im­prove in the nec­es­sary ar­eas in time.”

In­ter be­gan Europa League ac­tion yes­ter­day at home to Hapoel Beer­Sheva and are again at the Giuseppe Meazza against the Bian­coneri as the sea­son gets busy with a mid­week round set for Wed­nes­day.

“It’s only nat­u­ral to look for­ward to the Ju­ven­tus game,” team cap­tain Icardi said, “but we’re pro­fes­sion­als and need to fo­cus on this one (against the Is­raeli cham­pi­ons).”

New coach Frank de Boer savoured his first win and now pre­pares for his first big match at the Ner­az­zurri’s helm.

“It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing game. We’ll be up against a great side but we can cause them prob­lems,” the Dutch­man said.

“We need to im­prove in some ar­eas be­cause at times we lose the ball too eas­ily.

“(Juve) are a qual­ity side so we need to raise our game. That said, we fought hard (on Sun­day in Pescara) and that’s why we got the three points.”

A tough round opener awaits the Devils to­day at in-form Sam­p­do­ria, who bat­tled with Roma only to be edged 3-2 by a late penalty last time.

The Rome Gial­lorossi close the week­end late Sun­day with a cen­tralI­taly derby at Fiorentina af­ter both play in the Europa League.

Lazio and Pescara meet to­mor­row be­fore Napoli take on Bologna. Still bit­ter over Higuain’s de­par­ture, the Neapoli­tans seem to have found a re­place­ment in Arka­diusz Mi­lik, a Pole who got a brace in do­mes­tic ac­tion and re­peated the feat on Tues­day in the Cham­pi­ons League, seal­ing a 2-1 rally at Dy­namo Kiev. – dpa

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