Juventus 2 Dinamo Zagreb 0: Bianconeri top group with easy win


Gonzalo Higuain and Daniele Rugani secured top spot in Group H for Juventus as the Bianconeri beat a resolute Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 in the Champions League.

Following a frustrating half in Turin, Juve turned on the style after the restart with Higuain ending his 418-minute goal drought in all competitions and Rugani getting his first European goal.

Higuain, Miralem Pjanic and Mario Mandzukic were all wasteful early on as Dominik Livakovic and the Dinamo defence displayed admirable resistance

Their resolve was finally broken on 52 minutes after Mario Lemina had muscled his way through a group of defenders on the edge of the penalty area, the loose ball dropping for the clinical Higuain.

And with 17 minutes to play the points were clinched as Rugani rose unmarked to head home Pjanic's pinpoint corner from the right.

Victory ensured Juve go into Monday's draw for the knockout stages as group winners, while Dinamo finish the stage without a goal or a point.

Chances were few and far between in an opening 45 minutes dominated by the hosts, Juve racking up 66 per cent possession.

The opportunities they did manage to create found goalkeeper Livakovic on hand to keep Dinamo level, his first save coming after five minutes to foil a Juve counter-attack.

Mandzukic and Pjanic combined superbly to set up Higuain but the striker's effort was deflected wide by the 21-year-old.

It took Juve until the 32nd minute to pose a further threat and once again Mandzukic was involved, his neat turn created space for a cross that Pjanic headed straight at Livakovic.

Pjanic and Mandzukic both tested the keeper again before the break but neither were able to get the better of the Croatia Under-21 international.

After all their difficulties in the first half it took Juve just seven second-half minutes to break the deadlock, Higuain pouncing on a loose ball following Lemina's run and unleashing a thunderous strike past Livakovic.

With Gianluigi Buffon rested for the first time in 51 matches in the Champions League, Neto deputised for Massimiliano Allegri's side and he was barely troubled.

Instead the action remained at the Dinamo end and Rugani doubled Juve's advantage with a thumping header, the 22-year-old timing his run perfectly to nod home Pjanic's corner.

There was one final boost for Juve before the final whistle as Paulo Dybala made his long-awaited return from a thigh injury, the striker playing the final 10 minutes.