Tottenham fight back for spirited draw at Juventus


Harry Kane has scored seven of Tottenham's 16 Champions League goals this season

Harry Kane has scored seven of Tottenham’s 16 Champions League goals this season

Tottenham produced a brilliant comeback to draw at Juventus after a disastrous start to their Champions League last-16 first leg in Turin.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side were 2-0 down inside 10 minutes after Gonzalo Higuain followed up a sumptuous volley with a penalty, awarded for Ben Davies’ foul on Federico Bernardeschi.

Harry Kane started the fightback after rounding Gianluigi Buffon following Deli Alli’s threaded pass and Higuain then missed a penalty for the hosts with the last kick of the first half, following Serge Aurier’s poor challenge on Douglas Costa.

Spurs dominated possession against the Italian champions and got their reward when Christian Eriksen’s low free-kick evaded Buffon to give Spurs the edge going into the second leg at Wembley on 7 March.

Spurs remain unbeaten since 16 December, and Pochettino said: “We are more mature. The team is growing and have stepped up in this aspect. I think the team was amazing in the way they reacted.”

Spirited Spurs show European mettle

Pochettino’s side still have work to do to overcome Juve in three weeks’ time.

Yet this performance, on top of wins over Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in the group stage, provided further evidence that Spurs are continuing to grow in this competition with each game.

Juve had not conceded a goal in 2018 before this match yet Pochettino will be wary his players cannot afford to start the second leg like they did in Italy.

In a pulsating game, Tottenham were a goal behind inside two minutes after Miralem Pjanic’s chipped free-kick caught out the visitors’ defence and Higuain beat Hugo Lloris with a quality finish.

Spurs looked anxious and their evening went from bad to worse when Higuain doubled the lead from the spot after Davies brought down Bernardeschi.

Gonzalo Higuain scored the fastest brace by a Juventus player in Champions League history

Gonzalo Higuain scored the fastest brace by a Juventus player in Champions League history

But the Premier League side then produced a comeback that will live long in the memory of their travelling supporters.

First Kane had a header saved from inside the six-yard box by Buffon, but the England striker was not to be denied for long, beating the veteran with a composed finish after Alli’s pass.

Alli headed over when he should have scored before Eriksen was denied by Buffon as Spurs peppered the Juve goal.

The turning point arrived on the stroke of half-time when Higuain hit the bar from the penalty spot.

Tottenham are the first team to concede two first-half penalties in the Champions League knockout stages since AC Milan in April 2012 against Barcelona.

Tottenham are the first team to concede two first-half penalties in the Champions League knockout stages since AC Milan in April 2012 against Barcelona.

Lloris produced a fine save from Bernardeschi after the interval but Tottenham got the reward their hard-work deserved when Eriksen scored from a set-piece.

In the end, Spurs had 12 shots – half of them on target – and 67% of possession, while half of Juve’s four shots in the opening 45 minutes were from the penalty spot.

Will Spurs end the season with a trophy?

Tottenham are now unbeaten in 13 league and cup games, as the business end of the season looms. As well as the Champions League, they are still in the FA Cup and are chasing a top-four finish in the Premier League.

This gritty display against the two-time champions of Europe will certainly give Spurs momentum going into a crucial spell of games.

“You need some luck always in football,” added Pochettino. “I think in the second half we played much better.

“We deserved the victory more than the draw. It’s so important to recognise and congratulate the players.

“The tie is open. Yes, we have the dream and hope that we can beat them at Wembley.”

Man of the match – Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)

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There were dominant displays from a number of Tottenham players. Mousa Dembele was excellent but Christian Eriksen also caught the eye. He caused the Juve defence all sorts of problems and got his reward with a fine goal

Spurs make history at the Allianz Stadium – the stats

  • Tottenham are the first team to overturn a two-goal deficit at the Allianz Stadium since Juventus moved there in 2011.
  • Juve are unbeaten in their past six Champions League home games against English sides.
  • The Italian club failed to win a Champions League home game after being two or more goals ahead for the only the second time.
  • Before Harry Kane’s goal, Gianluigi Buffon had not conceded a goal for 694 consecutive minutes for Juventus and Italy (last conceding against Sweden in November).
  • Kane has equalled the record for the most goals scored by an English player in a single Champions League season (seven), level with Steven Gerrard in 2008-09.
  • The England international has scored nine goals in nine Champions League appearances – the most of any player after nine games.
  • Dele Alli has provided 19 assists for Kane for club and country.
  • Gonzalo Higuain has scored four goals in his past four Champions League knockout stage games – double the amount in his previous 24 knockout matches.

What’s next?

Tottenham have three games before they host Juventus in the second leg at Wembley. They are at League One Rochdale in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday (16:00 GMT) before their next Premier League game at Crystal Palace on 26 February and a home match with Huddersfield on 3 March.

Live Text

Match ends, Juventus 2, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

Second Half ends, Juventus 2, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

Substitution, Juventus. Kwadwo Asamoah replaces Douglas Costa.

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Victor Wanyama replaces Christian Eriksen.

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Lucas Moura replaces Erik Lamela.

Corner, Juventus. Conceded by Jan Vertonghen.

Attempt missed. Medhi Benatia (Juventus) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Miralem Pjanic with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Juventus. Conceded by Jan Vertonghen.

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Son Heung-Min replaces Dele Alli.

Corner, Juventus. Conceded by Serge Aurier.

Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus).

Foul by Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur).

Stefano Sturaro (Juventus) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Gonzalo Higuaín.

Substitution, Juventus. Stefano Sturaro replaces Mario Mandzukic.

Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gonzalo Higuaín (Juventus).

Offside, Juventus. Giorgio Chiellini tries a through ball, but Gonzalo Higuaín is caught offside.

Foul by Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur).

Alex Sandro (Juventus) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal! Juventus 2, Tottenham Hotspur 2. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus).

Attempt saved. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Dele Alli.

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Giorgio Chiellini.

Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur).

Miralem Pjanic (Juventus) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Hand ball by Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur).

Substitution, Juventus. Rodrigo Bentancur replaces Sami Khedira.

Foul by Davinson Sánchez (Tottenham Hotspur).

Gonzalo Higuaín (Juventus) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alex Sandro (Juventus).

Foul by Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur).

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Alex Sandro (Juventus).

Corner, Juventus. Conceded by Davinson Sánchez.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/43038311

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