Juventus' Wojciech Szczesny Explains Penalty Save on Milan's Gonzalo Higuain

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2018

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 11: Wojciech Szczesny of Juventus during the Italian Serie A   match between AC Milan v Juventus at the San Siro on November 11, 2018 in Milan Italy (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates /Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Wojciech Szczesny has said he knew exactly where AC Milan's Gonzalo Higuain would kick his penalty because he "always trained with him" while the two were at Juventus last year.

The Polish keeper made a vital stop with his team leading 1-0, preserving the advantage. The Bianconeri ended up winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo, while Higuain was sent off.

Speaking to JTV (h/t Football Italia), the former Arsenal and AS Roma goalkeeper discussed the penalty in detail:

"I know him, because he was one of the penalty takers last year.

"Last year, as second goalkeeper, I always trained with him on penalties and of course we’d studied them.

"I chose to move first on his penalty, he usually hits them like that and I just had to hope he wouldn’t change, which he didn’t.

"So I’m happy to have saved the penalty."

Medhi Benatia had given away the spot-kick with a handball. Here's a look at the match highlights:

Szczesny was in need of a big match after he struggled in the loss to Manchester United midweek, looking out of sorts for both goals. The 28-year-old started the season as Juventus' top option, but summer arrival Mattia Perin isn't far behind and is expected to challenge the Pole soon.

The penalty stop was just what he needed, per football writer David Amoyal:

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

Szczesny needed that save between the increased calls for Perin to replace him & Buffon’s brilliant match against Napoli

Higuain's first outing against his parent club was one to forget, and the dismissal will result in a suspension, likely ruling him out for Milan's trip to the capital to face Lazio Roma after the international break.

The Argentinian is the leading scorer for the Rossoneri in Serie A, and given the team's major injury concerns, it may prove difficult to replace him. Patrick Cutrone is likely to move into the starting XI, while big things will be expected from Suso, arguably the team's best player so far this season.