Monday, December 9, 2019

West Ham 2 Juventus 3: Higuain makes Bianconeri bow

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Aug 2016


Gonzalo Higuain made his Juventus debut off the bench in a 3-2 friendly win over West Ham at London Stadium on Sunday.

The Argentina international, signed from Napoli for a fee of €90million, replaced Mario Mandzukic at half-time but struggled to make an impact during a second half interrupted by regular substitutions.

Top scorer in Serie A last season, the former Real Madrid striker appeared short of his physical best, having last played for Argentina during the Copa America Centenario in June. 

An Andy Carroll double helped West Ham fight back from 2-0 down after goals from Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic had put Juve in control, and the match appeared to be drifting towards a penalty shootout before Simone Zaza won it late on.

Having survived Enner Valencia hitting the post in the 18th minute, Juve opened the scoring with relative ease less than a minute later. 

Dani Alves found Mandzukic at the back post and the Croatian nodded the ball down for Dybala to guide a shot into the far corner of the net.

The Turin giants doubled their lead three minutes later, Dybala taking advantage of Winston Reid’s slip to return the favour by teeing up Mandzukic for a close-range finish. 

West Ham, playing in a black strip commissioned in honour of their forerunner Thames Ironwork FC, responded in the 34th minute, Mark Noble picking out Carroll from the left and the centre-forward powering a header downwards. Gianluigi Buffon got a glove to it but Carroll followed up strongly, bundling the ball and a defender into the back of the net.

The former Newcastle United and Liverpool striker, who will be hopeful of regaining his England place under new manager Sam Allardyce, struck with another header from a free-kick to equalise eight minutes into the second half, Carroll proving too strong for Medhi Benatia. 

But Zaza, seeking to forget an embarrassing penalty miss in Italy’s Euro 2016 quarter-final shootout loss to Germany, netted the winner from outside the area after getting clear of the West Ham defence in the 86th minute.


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