2017-18 Italian Coppa Italia, Semifinals
  • Gonzalo Higuaín (3')
1st Leg
1st Leg

Gigi Buffon saves penalty in return as Juventus win first leg

Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC via Getty Images

Gonzalo Higuain and Gianluigi Buffon combined to help Juventus beat Atalanta 1-0 for a crucial away victory in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semifinal on Tuesday.

After three minutes on a foggy night, Higuain finished off a counter-attack by dribbling around a defender and scoring from the centre of the area.

Midway through the first half, the video assistant referee awarded Atalanta a penalty for a hand ball by Medhi Benatia, but Buffon guessed correctly and lunged to his left to smother Papu's spot kick.

Buffon was playing in his first game since Dec. 1 since being sidelined by an injury. Two days earlier, he celebrated his 40th birthday.

Juventus are aiming to win their fourth straight Coppa Italia while Atalanta are looking to reach the final for the first time in 22 years, since losing in 1996 to Fiorentina.

AC Milan host Lazio in the other semifinal on Wednesday. The return legs are scheduled for Feb. 28.