NEWS
Tuesday February 13 2018
CL: Juve fritter lead with Tottenham

Juventus surged into a 2-0 lead within 10 minutes, but Gonzalo Higuain missed a penalty after his brace and Tottenham recovered for 2-2 in Turin.

The second leg of this Champions League Round of 16 is at Wembley on March 7 and the Bianconeri find themselves the underdogs.

See how it all unfolded on the LIVEBLOG.

In the absence of Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado, Blaise Matuidi, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Andrea Barzagli and Benedikt Howedes, Max Allegri shook things up with a 4-2-3-1 formation using all his attacking players simultaneously. Spurs had beaten Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in the group stage with Harry Kane scoring six in five games. Toby Alderweireld and reserve goalkeeper Michel Vorm missed out, but Erik Lamela was given a surprise start.

This was the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides, though Tottenham did win a friendly played at Wembley in August.

It took all of 90 seconds to break the deadlock, as Miralem Pjanic dinked up a free kick to find Higuain totally unmarked and he steered the precise finish under Hugo Lloris from 14 yards. There were some suspicions of offside.

The Bianconeri’s dream start continued when Ben Davies horribly mistimed his tackle on Bernardeschi, clattering him in the penalty area. Higuain stepped up to convert, even if Lloris got a hand to it at the near bottom corner. This made it the fastest Champions League brace for a Juve player.

Harry Kane had penalty appeals, but went over far too easily under a Medhi Benatia nudge. Kane did have a great chance with his free header on 26 minutes, but 40-year-old Gigi Buffon came to the rescue with a splendid reaction save from point-blank range.

Mattia De Sciglio made a decisive tackle in the box on Dele Alli and Juve immediately countered, Higuain turning wide after a give-and-go with Pjanic.

Buffon got his fingertips to a scuffed Kane drive, but could do nothing when the England international sprung the offside trap on an Alli through ball and dribbled round to score from a tight angle. Juventus had been sitting back increasingly since the second goal and this was the first they had conceded in any competition in 2018, the first at home since November.

Buffon had his gloves stung by Eriksen from distance and Spurs took control of possession in Turin. Despite that pressure, Douglas Costa turned on the turbo to get away from Serge Aurier and was brought down for another penalty. Higuain stepped up again, but rather than complete his hat-trick, he blasted it off the crossbar.

Aurier continued his poor game with a booking straight after the restart and is suspended for the second leg. Lloris got down well to palm a Federico Bernardeschi strike round the far post, but frustration got to Higuain and he was booked for shouting at the referee after a denied free kick.

Kane stung Buffon’s gloves at the near post, but the goalkeeper was caught out by a low Eriksen free kick into the near bottom corner around a poorly-positioned wall. It completed the comeback from 2-0 down and only increased Higuain’s penalty regrets.

Mario Mandzukic had been carrying a knock for an hour when he finally hobbled off the field and Lloris did well to control a deflected Bernardeschi effort. Medhi Benatia nodded a corner over the bar and Douglas Costa dribbled past three players only to see his pull-back for Higuain intercepted by Jan Vertonghen.

Juventus 2-2 Tottenham

Higuain 2, pen 9 (J), Kane 35 (T), Eriksen 71 (T)

Juventus: Buffon; De Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira (Bentancur 66), Pjanic; Bernardeschi, Douglas Costa (Asamoah 91), Mandzukic (Sturaro 76); Higuain

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Eriksen (Wanyama 91), Dembele, Dier; Lamela (Lucas 88), Kane, Alli (Son 83)

Ref: Brych (GER)

Missed penalty: Higuain 45+1 (J)

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk