Vintage Buffon not ready to be buried by critics

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon saved a penalty in Juventus' 1-0 win over Lyon on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon saved a penalty in Juventus' 1-0 win over Lyon on Tuesday.

LYON • Less than two weeks after making a rare blunder with Italy, Gianluigi Buffon was back to his vintage best on Tuesday as Juventus snatched a 1-0 win at Olympique Lyon in the Champions League.

Juan Cuadrado netted the winner in the 76th minute but Buffon was the Man of the Match.

The goalkeeper saved Alexandre Lacazette's 35th-minute penalty before making a couple of sensational saves after the break when Juve were down to 10 men following Mario Lemina's sending-off.

Buffon conceded soft goals for Italy against Spain in a recent 1-1 draw and in Juve's 2-1 win over Udinese at the weekend. And the 38-year-old hit out at the critics who had written him off.

"People can organise my funeral, but there's nobody there," he told Italian television channel Mediaset Premium. "I have said many times, without arrogance, that I am very self-critical and don't need to listen to others who try to use situations to disrespect and show a lack of fairness to people.

"I've heard many stupid things in recent weeks, but just one true comment, 'I expect more from Buffon'."

Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri had only praise for Buffon.

"He doesn't need to be defended by anybody," he said.

The result left Juve top of Group H with seven points from three games. They are ahead of Sevilla, who beat Dinamo Zagreb 1-0, on goal difference.

Lyon are third on three points - two weeks before travelling to Turin for the return fixture.

"We gave everything tonight, it was a tactical battle. We had chances but Buffon was sensational," Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2016, with the headline 'Vintage Buffon not ready to be buried by critics'. Print Edition | Subscribe