Clinical Higuaín puts Juventus in command

The Juventus players celebrate. Photo:ANSA

MONACO—A brace from in-form Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaín has put Juventus firmly in the driving seat, as they beat Monaco 2-0 at the Stade Louis II in the first-leg of the Champions League semi-finals.

 The Bianconeri produced a perfect away performance, keeping a clean sheet and scoring two vital away goals, meaning Monaco will need a miracle to overcome the deficit when they travel to Turin in one week.

 Legendary Juventus shot-stopper Gianluigi Buffon put on a textbook display of goalkeeping to deny the Monaco attack, saving from Radamel Falcao and Kylian Mbappe to continue the visitors’ impressive defensive record in Europe this season.

 Despite a bright start from the French side, it was mercurial striker Higuaín who opened the scoring on 29 minutes, finishing neatly from an audacious back-heel assist from full-back Dani Alves.

 The pair combined again for the second goal on 59 minutes, this time the Argentine peeled away to the back post to steer home a perfectly weighted Alves cross.

 Having scored the two crucial away goals, Juventus could afford to sit back and rely on organised defensive work and a couple of key Buffon saves to coast to the final whistle.

 Juventus and Italy international Giorgio Chiellini told BT Sport, “2-0 away is an important result. We are very happy with that.”

"We have to congratulate Dani Alves and Gonzalo Higuain - sometimes we look to Gianluigi Buffon. We concede chances but when they come we have Gigi.”

"If we arrive in the final we will approach it in a different way to two years ago,” he added.