Juventus 2-2 Tottenham: Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen Saves The Day

January 11, 2017, was the last time Juventus had conceded two goals at home, but that was an Italian Cup game. We all know what they think of the Coppa Italia round these parts. So going back to February 23, 2016. Juventus 2 Bayern Munich 2. The last time a visiting team scored in a…”
Tolani Faranpojo
February 14, 2018 12:49 pm

January 11, 2017, was the last time Juventus had conceded two goals at home, but that was an Italian Cup game. We all know what they think of the Coppa Italia round these parts.

So going back to February 23, 2016. Juventus 2 Bayern Munich 2. The last time a visiting team scored in a game that really meant a whole lot, Yet Munich were 2-0 up that night and Juventus pulled it back. It wasn’t like this with Spurs’ late ascendancy.

Fiorentina on two occasions scored twice here in 2015, although  Juventus won 3-2 anyway, it wa another Coppa Italia tie.. So a team scoring twice, coming from behind, getting a much needed result at Juventus in a match that mattered? Real Madrid, 2-2, November 5, 2013.

Juventus went 1-0 up, Madrid scored twice, Juventus equalised. No wonder they went quiet. This does not happen to Juventus. They do not disappoint once ahead. Not on home turf.

Tottenham are far from through against such classy opposition, but they will be favoured after this drama. They were outstanding, given the course of the game. Rode their luck, yes, started horribly, true. But did they deserve the draw? Most certainly.

Gonzalo Higuain missed a penalty and a good chance at a pivotal moment but, hey, Harry Kane missed a sitter of a header, too.

It was -2°C by the time the Allianz Stadium had cleared and, coincidentally, Tottenham were minus two in nine minutes at the start of the night. To fight back from such a dismal beginning took courage against a Juventus team who are not ashamed to place 11 players defending fiercely within 25 yards of their goal.

They had not conceded a goal this year, nor lost since November, and racing into a commanding lead, few could see a way back for Tottenham. But gradually they found a path. Not by going gung-ho, but with intelligence and craft.

Tottenham, as Mauricio Pochettino acknowledged, remain shy of experience at this level. But that did not show as they pressed for goals. Even 2-1 would not have been the worst night — but to draw level changes the complexion of the return leg.

A low-scoring draw would do them at Wembley. Not that they should shrink from aiming high. Taking the game to Juventus, they were more than a match. The equaliser came after Giorgio Chiellini had fouled Dele Alli on the edge of the area and, yes, it was a foul, not a dive.

Eriksen took responsibility and somehow managed to send the mighty Gianluigi Buffon the wrong way with a pretty straight shot. It was low, to the left, but Buffon had initially set off in the opposite direction, before correcting. Too late. Tottenham were level.

Juventus are unbeaten at home in Europe since 2013, so to go two goals down in nine minutes here, as Tottenham did, was nothing short of disastrous. What happened? Well, Higuain happened, as did some suicidal defending.

Mousa Dembele dived in rashly and gave away a free-kick against Miralem Pjanic, some 30 yards from goal. Pjanic stood with Federico Bernardeschi. The Italian made as if to take it, but pulled out. Pjanic clipped the ball to Higuain.

Somehow, he was unmarked. Somehow, one of the greatest goalscorers in Europe had contrived to lose an entire defence.

Alli saw the danger, but too late. Ben Davies appeared to be flagging up the trouble from the left. The central defenders were all gathered on the far side where Juventus had decoy forces massed. It was a quite brilliantly worked set-piece, and Higuain gave it the finish it deserved.For Tottenham, worse unfolded. At least the first goal was smart. The second was the result of simple clumsiness.

Mario Mandzukic played a crossfield ball, left to right, and Davies appeared to have lost his place on the pitch, and his sight of the danger around him. He studied the ball, was blindsided by the man, and ended up making a rash, misjudged tackle that upended Bernardeschi: a clear penalty.

Higuain stepped up and, while Hugo Lloris read his kick correctly, both hands could do nothing to stop it nestling in the left corner. With 171 minutes of the tie left, some were already speculating Tottenham looked done.

Higuain stepped up and, while Hugo Lloris read his kick correctly, both hands could do nothing to stop it nestling in the left corner. With 171 minutes of the tie left, some were already speculating Tottenham looked done.

Slowly, though, they probed for a way through. A tumble by Kane under pressure from Medhi Benatia was not greatly impressive, and was rightly rejected by referee Felix Brych — but after 26 minutes he lost his marker and met an Eriksen cross with a point-blank header, which Buffon saved.

Kane immediately looked for an offside flag to spare his embarrassment. None flew. And then two moments changed the momentum, and maybe the tie.

The unconvincing Davinson Sanchez made a mistake as Juve counter-attacked, and suddenly they were in. Higuain exchanged passes with Pjanic, before sizing up his shot in the penalty area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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