Buffon still incredible
The level of hope from fans the world over for Gianluigi Buffon to finally secure a Champions League medal is quite remarkable. The Italian goalkeeping legend is held in such esteem that fans appear to be almost united in wanting to see him hold the trophy aloft, and his performance even just in the early stages against Monaco demonstrated again why he would be thoroughly deserving of it.
A runner-up in 2002-03 and 2014-15, Buffon is certainly due a Champions League medal and the way he repeatedly thwarted Kylian Mbappe early on at Stade Louis II not only again showed his considerable quality but also the hunger he clearly has for righting this particular wrong. The 39-year-old made a series of stunning saves and ensured his side scored first against the run of play by keeping the hosts at bay. A legendary goalkeeper and he would make an extremely popular European champion.
Is Dani Alves the best right back in the world?
Having departed the five-time European champions in the summer, it looked like 33-year-old Dani Alves’ best years were behind him, but Barcelona will be kicking themselves for not giving the Brazilian a new deal after another superb display for his new side Juventus.
Remarkably, no player in this season’s Champions League has created as many chances as the marauding full-back, and it was his assists that made all the difference in Monaco. Each assist was different in its skill level, providing further proof that Alves is still up there with the best in the business. Defensively, no player regained possession on more occasions at the Stade Louis II. A performance of the highest calibre.
Higuain the hitman
He may be frequently criticised for his physique, but Gonzalo Higuain again showed why he is one of the top strikers in the world against Monaco. Come the big moment, the Argentine delivered for the visitors, rounding off a stunning team move with a clinical finish, and the way he celebrated the goal not only delighted Juventus fans but also demonstrated the motivation he clearly still has to shine when it matters most.
At 29-years-old, Higuain has a real opportunity to lead Juventus to European glory and, while he may not be everyone's idea of a striker compared to the pacy, thrilling Mbappe, he again showed that his nous and positioning in the final third is exceptional. Juve know Higuain is always going to be on hand when a clear-cut opportunity arises and he certainly knows how to finish in the most ruthless fashion.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: 5 Truths: Buffon and Alves still brilliant, United must fear Ajax