Wednesday May 3 2017
Barzagli: 'Mbappe' is devastating'

Andrea Barzagli was very impressed with Monaco’s forwards, particularly Kylian Mbappé, and discussed the Juventus tactical approach.

Gonzalo Higuain bagged a brace in the 2-0 victory at the Stade Louis II, the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Max Allegri’s shifts of system and personnel were surprising, but Barzagli confirms it wasn’t a 4-2-3-1.

“Today I think our defending was more with three at the back than four. It was a tactical issue, as Mbappé was going wide in my area and their full-back didn’t push that much,” the veteran defender told Mediaset Premium.

“Fortunately, we got a splendid result for the second leg. Monaco have incredible quality in attack. We knew about that, but seeing them up close on the pitch, you realise it even more. They have three or four players in attack with quality, physicality, pace and naturally they are going to cause you problems.

“Inevitably with them, you are going to let something through and Gigi Buffon did very well to patch things up.

“We studied Mbappé, he is a devastating player. I’ve met some over the years, but at his age with that technique, physical strength pace, and above all his movements, because he changes things up and makes excellent movements off the ball. I’ve not seen someone like him.

“Radamel Falcao reminds me of Pippo Inzaghi, he never stays still for a minute. I think Mbappé is going to become extraordinary.”

Juventus already have an extraordinary hitman, as Higuain broke his Champions League goal drought with a brace.

“Gonzalo hasn’t scored as many goals in the Champions League this season, but he worked a lot more for the team. He’s got a few bets going on with me and Chiellini, but we might reveal what those are at the end of the season…

“The two goals he scored this evening were difficult and it can be tough for a striker if he doesn’t net for two or three games in a row, but he kept his cool.”

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