Higuain hero and vil­lain as Juve blow early lead

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

GON­ZALO HIGUAIN (car­i­ca­ture) con­verted an early penalty for Ju­ven­tus and then missed a sit­ter be­fore Olympique Ly­on­nais hit back late in the game to grab a 1-1 draw in their Cham­pi­ons League match yes­ter­day.

Corentin Tolisso’s 85th-minute header, the first goal that the Ital­ian cham­pi­ons have con­ceded in four games in Group H, kept alive the French side’s slim hopes of reach­ing the last 16 and kept Juve wait­ing for at least one more game to book their spot. Ju­ven­tus are se­cond with eight points, two be­hind lead­ers Sevilla, and should still progress, while Lyon have four. Ju­ven­tus coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri was an­gry with his team for try­ing to grab a late win­ner in­stead of set­tling for the draw. “We ran too many risks to­wards the end and we could have un­der­mined our whole cam­paign in the Cham­pi­ons League,” he said. “You go to war when there’s a chance of win­ning; you don’t go to war when there’s a chance of los­ing.” Juve were gifted an early lead when Higuain burst down the left and found Ste­fano Stu­raro who was clum­sily pushed over by Mouc­tar Di­akhaby. The Ar­gen­tine stepped up and sent An­thony Lopes the wrong way from the spot.

How­ever, Higuain turned vil­lain shortly be­fore half­time when he scooped the ball over the cross­bar with the goal at his mercy after Mario Mandzu­kic had won pos­ses­sion off a de­fender and set him up with a glo­ri­ous op­por­tu­nity.

In be­tween, Clau­dio Marchi­sio sent a low drive ag­o­nis­ingly wide from just out­side the penalty area.

Ju­ven­tus, who won 1-0 in Lyon two weeks ago, ap­peared to sit back after half­time and the vis­i­tors en­joyed plenty of pos­ses­sion al­though they strug­gled to turn it into gen­uine chances.

Al­ready miss­ing Gior­gio Chiellini from their so-called ‘BBC’ de­fence, Ju­ven­tus also saw Leonardo Bonucci limp off in the 67th minute when he had to be re­placed by Me­hdi Be­na­tia.

The re­vamped de­fence were caught out with five min­utes left when Rachid Ghez­zal de­liv­ered a su­perb free­kick into the Juve area which was at­tacked by three play­ers, with Tolisso get­ting there first to head past Gian­luigi Buf­fon.

Ju­ven­tus threw them­selves for­ward in search of a late win­ner and Lyon threat­ened to snatch the points when Alexan­dre La­cazette ran on to a through ball but Buf­fon did well to nar­row the an­gle.– Reuters

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