Atalanta 1-3 Juventus: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Gonzalo Higuaín Inspires Comeback

Gonzalo Higuaín inspired Juventus to a dramatic comeback against Atalanta on Saturday afternoon, extending his side’s unbeaten streak in Serie A with a 3-1 win at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia.

It was a shaky start from the visitors, as they came under early pressure from a fluid Atalanta side. The hosts were awarded a penalty when Sami Khedira was penalised for handling the ball in the area in the 15th minute, but Modou Barrow saw his attempt cannon back off the crossbar.

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Robin Gosens opened the scoring for the home side shortly after half time with a headed effort at the far post, leaving Juve looking shaky and trailing into the last 20 minutes. 

However, Miralem Pjanic and Juan Cuadrado set up Gonzalo Higuaín for two clinical strikes in the closing stages – the first a deflected left-footed shot and the second a well-taken effort that gave Atalanta goalkeeper Pierlugi Gollini no chance – before Paulo Dybala scored in added time to wrap things up.


ATALANTA

Player Ratings

Starting XI: ​Gollini (5); Djimsiti (5), Palomino (6), Tolói (6); Gosens (7), Freuler (6), de Roon (6), Hateboer (5); Pasalic (7), Gomez (6), Barrow (4).

Substitutes: Muriel (6), Castagne (6), Traore (N/A).

Robin Gosens

JUVENTUS

Key Talking Point

The elephant in the room was the absence of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo as Juventus, up until the final 30 minutes, lacked a driving force in attack.

If it wasn’t for Modou Barrow hitting the crossbar with his spot kick and Atalanta failing to gain a two-goal lead, this match could’ve easily swung away from Juve as a result of a lack of chance creation.

Ultimately, Higuaín and Dybala’s clinical strikes were enough to win the league leaders the game, but they struggled to create anything before their late flurry of chances.

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Player Ratings

Starting XI: Szczęsny (7); De Sciglio (6), De Ligt (8), Bonucci (6), Cuadrado (6); Bentancur (6), Pjanić (6), Khedira (4); Bernadeschi (5), Higuaín (8*), Dybala (7).

Substitutes: Ramsey (6), Costa (6), Can (6).


STAR MAN – Who else but the man who inspired the Old Lady to a glorious comeback and victory – Gonzalo Higuaín? The Argentine’s clinical finishing was crucial in gaining Juventus another vital three points to increase their lead at the top of Serie A.

The experienced attacker scored a brace, assisted their third goal and single handedly changed the game.

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Looking Ahead

Both sides will be reflecting on their respective performances, but will have to prepare quickly for mid-week action as they take on Europe’s elite in the UEFA Champions League group stages.

Juventus welcome Atletico Madrid to Turin on Tuesday night as they look to increase their lead at the top of group D to six points, before they come home to host Sassuolo in Serie A on Sunday.

Atalanta face a must-win fixture against Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday as they attempt to remain in reach of the round of 16 phase of the Champions League.

They then travel away to Brescia on Saturday.


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