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Gonzalo Higuain on target as Juventus thump Dinamo Zagreb 4-0

Juventus' summer signings Miralem Pjanic and Gonzalo Higuain helped the Italian side to a 4-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb.

By: Reuters | Zagreb |
Updated: September 28, 2016 11:00:59 am
Football Soccer - Dinamo Zagreb v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group H Gonzalo Higuain scored his first UCL goal for Juventus after his 90-million euro move from Napoli. (Source: Reuters)

Gonzalo Higuain scored his first Champions League goal for Juventus after his 90-million euro ($99.74 million) move from Napoli as the Italian title holders drubbed Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 in their Group H match on Tuesday.

The result put Juventus top of the section on four points from two games, ahead of Sevilla on goal difference after the Spanish side ground out a 1-0 home win over Olympique Lyon.

It was no more than the Italian title holders deserved after dominating throughout, with Bosnian playmaker Miralem Pjanic running the show in the opening period before he was substituted at halftime.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was purring with delight after his team steamrolled through the lop-sided contest.

“We played well throughout the game and kept going until the end because goal difference can be very important,” he told a news conference.

“I thought Higuain and Dybala linked up superbly and the floodgates opened after we took the lead. We should have scored more in the second half but I am content.

“It was also important to keep a clean sheet, our third in a row in all competitions.”

Pjanic fired Juventus ahead with an opportunist finish before he turned provider for Higuain, who chested down the Bosnian playmaker’s superb pass and side-footed it past Dinamo’s 18-year old keeper Adrian Semper.

Higuain’s Argentine compatriot Paulo Dybala made it 3-0 with a rasping shot from 30 metres shortly after the break for his first goal of the season as Juventus, who were held by Sevilla to a goalless home draw in their opening match, pressed on relentlessly.

Semper finally showed a glimpse of his talent when forward Marko Pjaca, who joined Juventus from Dinamo during the close-season, weaved his way past three of his former team mates and forced a good save from the keeper.

Brazilian Dani Alves completed the rout with a heavily deflected free kick in the 85th minute as Dinamo’s bold 4-3-3 formation gave the visitors too much room to operate.

Dinamo’s caretaker coach Zeljko Sopic, who stepped in after Zlatko Kranjcar resigned last week following a poor run, was realistic about his team’s limits.

“We knew we would be up against one of the best teams in Europe and our strategy went down the drain after we conceded the opening goal,” he said.

“We made some costly individual errors too and you can’t afford those at this level.”

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