Higuain dis­cov­ers his shoot­ing boots

Sport360 - - Latest News - By Carl Markham @carl­markham editorial@sport360.com

Gon­zalo Higuain got Ju­ven­tus’ Cham­pi­ons League cam­paign off the mark, com­ing on as a sub­sti­tute to lift last year’s fi­nal­ists to a 2-0 Group D win over Olympiakos last night.

Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri’s side needed to reignite their Euro­pean cam­paign after fall­ing 3-0 to Barcelona in Spain two weeks ago.

And Higuain hit back after be­ing dropped by Al­le­gri by open­ing the scor­ing after 69 min­utes and hav­ing a hand in Mario Mandzu­kic’s sec­ond on 80 min­utes at the Al­lianz Arena.

“I made a choice and Higuain wasn’t as good as the oth­ers,” said Al­le­gri of his de­ci­sion to leave the Ar­gen­tine on the bench for a sec­ond straight game. “But we saw this evening that he al­ready moved dif­fer­ently. He has never been a prob­lem and never will be. He’s a player who can make the dif­fer­ence and win us games.”

Striker Romelu Lukaku con­tin­ued his re­mark­able scor­ing run with two goals as Manch­ester United swept aside CSKA Moscow.

The Bel­gium in­ter­na­tional ar­rived from Ever­ton in the sum­mer with a £90mil­lion price tag but has done plenty to quickly jus­tify that sum as he clin­i­cally ex­posed an age­ing de­fence at the VEB Arena.

Lukaku took his tally to 10 goals in nine ap­pear­ances as he scored in his eighth suc­ces­sive Euro­pean game with a dou­ble in the first half ei­ther side of an An­thony Mar­tial penalty with Hen­rikh Mkhi­taryan adding a fourth after the in­ter­val.

In do­ing so Lukaku be­came the first United player to score in his open­ing two Cham­pi­ons League matches as the Red Dev­ils es­tab­lished an early three-point lead at the top of Group A.

CSKA fielded three cen­tral de­fend­ers with a com­bined age of 101 and Vik­tor Vasin, the spring chicken at 28, was the only one not to be wholly em­bar­rassed.

Just four min­utes in Mar­tial swung over a cross from the left to the far post where Lukaku out­jumped the 38-year-old Sergei Ig­na­she­vich to head home – mak­ing it 45 Cham­pi­ons League games proper with­out a clean sheet for Igor Ak­in­feev.

The goal­keeper’s legs kept out Mkhi­taryan’s shot but when the Ar­me­nian was brought down by Ge­orgi Schen­nikov, Mar­tial – a con­stant threat down the left – con­fi­dently stroked home the penalty.

Another Mar­tial cross from the left was com­pletely missed by Vasili Berezut­ski, 35, to present Lukaku with a sim­ple side-foot fin­ish to make it 3-0 and the Bel­gian was only de­nied his hat-trick by a good low Ak­in­feev save.

Mour­inho had said pre-match the cur­rent CSKA side were the best he had faced but that ap­peared flat­tery of the high­est or­der.

Fe­dor Chalov’s 37th-minute shot brought a first-class tip-over from David de Gea but it was a rare threat.

Lukaku was again de­nied his hat­trick by Ak­in­feev early in the sec­ond half but when the goal­keeper par­ried Mar­tial’s shot Mkhi­taryan was on hand to slot home.

Knows where the goal is: Gon­zalo Higuain strikes.

Luk at me: The United striker (c).

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