For the better part of the 2017-18 season, we hadn’t seen the real Gonzalo Higuain. You know, the ruthless Gonzalo Higuain, the kind of Gonzalo Higuain in which Juventus forked out a club record €90 million for two summers ago. There were glimpses, sure, but not the entire package in which we were sitting there and left thinking “GONZALO BACK!”
That all changed Saturday.
And in a big, big way.
Higuain put forth a vintage kind of performance, with his two-goal night leading Juventus past Milan in front of a sold out crowd at the San Siro. It was the kind of game that he has had so many times in the past but not so much in recent weeks and months. But he sure did pick a grand kind of way to score his 100th career goal in Serie A, that’s for sure.
Combine that with Juventus looking more like Juventus, it certainly meant good things happened against a Milan side that’s still trying to right the ship after a difficult start to it’s brand new big-spending era.
(By the way, how hot do you think Vincenzo Montella’s seat is right now? He was under loads of pressure before, but to now lose to Juve at home in the manor they did? Yikes. I’m sure Max Allegri is not happy to be at a club where he has plenty of job security.)
The story of the day is Higuain and his two-goal game that was just of the most vintage of varieties.
You see the two goals he scored and you can’t help but smile. Not only because it has been tough sledding for Higuain so far this season, but also because of the pure quality of goals they were. His second goal, especially, was just like he was a damn sniper and that his pure intention was to kiss it off the post and into the goal.
They were just beautiful.
One game doesn’t mean that Higuain is completely back, all of the past struggles during this past season are forgotten and that he will now score two goals in his next 10 or 15 appearances. But it’s certainly a good start — and one that Juventus needed from him knowing how his season has been to date.
I like when Gonzalo Higuain scores goals. I like it a lot.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Pre-game thought No. 1: ZOMG DANIELE RUGANI
- Pre-game thought No. 2: Oh, it’s Juan Cuadrado.
- Controversial opinion, but this trip to the San Siro was a lot better than how things went last season. I might be going out on a limb here, but I’m sticking with it.
- Stephan Lichtsteiner was in classic kind of Stephan Lichtsteiner kind of form against Milan. And by that I mean he was spittin’ and snortin’ and yellin’ at just about any Milan player that got close to him on Saturday. I fired it off on Twitter and i will repeat it here: Lichtsteiner was in classic “he’s an a-hole, but he’s our a-hole” mode.
- Mario Mandzukic made a sliding tackle just outside of Gigi Buffon’s 18-yard box in the first half and I couldn’t help myself from thinking about how good it is to have him back in the starting lineup. There aren’t many players that play his position on the field who make that tackle. But, the thing about Mandzukic is that he does it all the time.
- Kwadwo Asamoah at left back against Milan: Pretty dang solid. I’ll take that kind of game from him every single time he fills in for Alex Sandro going forward.
- As much as we like to be happy about Rugani being in the starting lineup, he’s also gotta produce to make our collective giddiness be warranted. The play he made on Milan’s best scoring chance of the night pretty much was the reason as to why Juventus went into the half with a 1-0 lead. The block was phenomenal and was also a great example of how he’s able to read how the play develops and then react to it. The boy is good ... really, really good.
- Guess what, you guys? With a 2-0 win and a plus-23 goal differential, Juventus is currently in first place atop Serie A.
- With that said, I think it’s safe to assume that we’re all Team Sassuolo tomorrow, right?
- I’ll leave all of you with this: Was that Juventus’ best game of the season? It was a pretty damn complete effort as far as I’m concerned.