Juventus 2-0 Olympiacos: Underfire Gonzalo Higuain Spares Juve's Blushes in Turin


​Massimiliano Allegri guided his side to a 2-0 victory on matchday two of the UEFA Champions League group stage, Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain the game changer for Juventus despite starting the match from the Old Lady's bench.

Olympiacos manager Takis Lemonis was taking charge of the Greek champions for the first time this season, starting his fourth spell in charge of the club on Monday, the club sacking Besnik Hasi following a 3-2 defeat to bitter rivals AEK Athens at the weekend.

Despite allowing Juventus the lion share of possession early in the match, it was Brazilian winger Sebá had the first real opportunity of the game for the visitors. However, the 25-year-old leant back when taking his shot and the ball sailed harmlessly over Gianluigi Buffon's goal.

Paolo Dybala saw two free-kicks in quick succession fail to trouble Silvio Proto in the Olympiacos goal, the Old Lady beginning to become frustrated at the physicality of the game. 

Mario Mandžukić and Stefano Sturaro forced Proto into impressive saves late in the first half, with Emmanuel Emenike offering a threat on the counter-attack that Juventus struggled to contain. Dybala was able to test Olympiacos' Belgian keeper before the interval, Björn Engels also fortunate to see a potential own goal denied by the woodwork. 

Gonzalo Higuaín was controversially left out of the Juventus starting lineup, however, Allegri turned to his Argentine striker on the hour mark to try and break the deadlock in Turin.

It took less than 10 minutes for the former Napoli striker to find the back of the net for Juventus, allowing the Old Lady to breathe easy. After seeing his left-footed shot blocked well by the Olympiacos defence, Juve's 29-year-old striker reacted quickest and comfortably placed his second attempt beyond the downed Proto.

Juventus then scored a fortuitous second through Mandžukić, although the Croatian striker didn't know too much about it. Higuain thread a lovely ball through for his compatriot Dybala and the 23-year-old's dinked effort was cleared off the line. However, Mandžukić was standing in the way of the defender's clearance and unknowingly turned the ball into the back of the net.

Juventus claimed their first win of the Champions League this season in Turin, leaving Olympiacos rock bottom of the group after the reigning Greek champions lost at Sporting CP a fortnight ago.