Monday, April 24, 2017

Barzagli hails Higuain professionalism after Napoli double

SoccerNews in Serie A 6 Apr 2017

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Andrea Barzagli praised Gonzalo Higuain for shutting out the vociferous reception at Stadio San Paolo to score twice and fire Juventus into the Coppa Italia final at Napoli’s expense.

The striker returned to his former stomping ground with Juve for the second time this week and bagged two crucial goals to fire Massimiliano Allegri’s side through 5-4 on aggregate in a thrilling semi-final tie.

Higuain was booed by the home fans on Wednesday and was also approached by a pitch invader armed with a Napoli scarf in the 3-2 second-leg defeat, but he did not let it affect his focus with a goal in either half to take his tally to three across the tie.

Barzagli congratulated Juve’s entire side for their efforts in eliminating their Serie A rivals, with Higuain – who left Napoli in a €90million move last July – singled out for specific praise.

“That [Higuain’s reception] is part and parcel of the game,” Barzagli told the club’s official website. 

“But he’s a top striker and we’re delighted he was able to score two.

“We know this is a tough place to come. It only takes one small slip-up and you can pay for it. You can’t drop your guard for a moment here.

“We’re having a great season and we’re not affected by any of the negativity. People always like to talk about Juve – you expect that. 

“We don’t pay any attention to it really; we just concentrate on ourselves.”

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