Juventus 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen: Gonzalo Higuain, Federico Bernardeschi and Cristiano Ronaldo strike to ease Maurizio Sarri’s side to victory in Turin
Gonzalo Higuain scored one goal and set up another, with Cristiano Ronaldo also getting on the scoresheet as Juventus beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
It was an encouraging performance for the Bianconeri after squandering a two-goal lead in a draw at Atletico Madrid to open the group phase.
Higuain scored early on and then set up Federico Bernardeschi’s goal after the break before Ronaldo added the third in the 89th minute.
Gonzalo Higuain’s first-half strike secured Juventus a home victory against Bayer Leverkusen
Juventus: Szczesny, Cuadrado, Bonucci, de Ligt, Sandro, Khedira (Bentancur 74), Pjanic, Matuidi, Bernardeschi (Ramsey 78), Ronaldo, Higuain (Dybala 83)
Unused substitutes: Ramsey, Rugani, Rabiot, Demiral, Buffon
Scorers: Higuain 17, Bernardeschi 61, Ronaldo 88
Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky, Weiser, Tah, Bender, Wendell, Havertz, Aranguiz (Sinkgraven 80), Baumgartlinger, Demirbay (Amiri 46), Volland, Alario (Paulinho 68)
Unused substitutes: Retsos, Dragovic, Diaby, Ozcan
With Atletico beating Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 in the other Group D game, Atletico and Juventus moved atop the standings with four points each. Lokomotiv are next with three and Leverkusen have zero.
Higuain was loaned to AC Milan and Chelsea last season but is back with Juventus under new coach Maurizio Sarri, who also coached ‘Pipita’ at Napoli.
When Jonathan Tah failed to clear a long ball from Juan Cuadrado, Higuain was waiting and used two touches to find the target with an angled shot from the edge of the area 17 minutes in.
Ronaldo was off target for much of the night and failed to take advantage of an enticing setup from Cuadrado near the hour mark as goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky stopped his low shot.
Minutes later, however, Ronaldo started the action that led to Juve’s second goal with a through ball for Higuain, who pulled it back from the touchline toward the Portugal star. Ronaldo couldn’t connect and Higuain’s ball reached Bernardeschi, who fired in from the centre of the area.
The Argentine frontman fired Juventus in front after latching on to Jonathan Tah’s poor header
Higuain celebrated with his team-mates after securing the hosts an invaluable three points
Federico Bernardeschi doubled Juventus’ lead in the second half with a powerful low drive
Miralem Pjanic nearly made it 3-0 with a corner that hit the post before Higuain set up Ronaldo for another excellent chance wasted by the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Higuain had already exited to a standing ovation when Ronaldo finally found the target after taking a through ball from substitute Paulo Dybala and scoring with a precise, angled drive.
It was Ronaldo’s 127th goal in 164 Champions League matches.
Eight-time defending Serie A champion Juventus visit Italian league leaders Inter Milan and former coach Antonio Conte on Sunday.
Bernardeschi had neatly tucked his strike beyond Hradecky to hand Juventus control
Cristiano Ronaldo added further gloss to the scoreline for the hosts in their comfortable win
Maurizio Sarri’s men have claimed four points from their opening two group stage clashes