Paulo Dybala sends Juventus through with winner to dump Tottenham Hotspur out of the Champions League
PUBLISHED: 21:46 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 21:46 07 March 2018
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Champions League last-16, second leg: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Juventus 2
Tottenham Hotspur’s journey in this season’s Champions League came to an end at Wembley after Juventus fought back from a goal down to win 2-1 and secure their spot in the quarter-finals with a 4-3 success on aggregate.
Heung-min Son had fired Mauricio Pochettino’s side in front, but goals from forward Gonzola Higuian and Paulo Dybala sent the Old Lady through.
It was tough to take for Tottenham who dominated the first half and then hit the post late on through Harry Kane, yet the Italians showed why they had reached the final in two of the last three years with a mature display after the break.
The big talk before the starting teams were announced was whether Pochettino would stick with the in-form Son or go with Erik Lamela like he did in the first leg last month.
It was the South Korean who got the nod, as Spurs made two changes to the side which drew 2-2 in Turin on February 13.
Serge Aurier dropped out of the squad altogether due to suspension and so Kieran Trippier replaced him at right-back.
Juventus had a number of injury doubts heading into the first encounter and it was a similar story ahead of this evening.
Higuain was nursing an ankle problem, but recovered to lead the line as the Old Lady boss Massimiliano Allegri made three changes from the first leg.
Dybala returned alongside Blaise Matuidi while Andrea Barzagli also started with Mattia De Sciglio, Federico Bernardeschi and Mario Mandzukic missing out.
The atmosphere before kick-off was tense, but the famous Champions League music helped set the tone for a memorable night at Wembley.
A minutes silence was impeccably observed by everyone inside the stadium to mark the sudden death of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori on Sunday morning before the game got underway in Brent.
It didn’t take long for the home faithful to find their voice as Spurs made the stronger start of the two sides.
Gianluigi Buffon was called into action with only three minutes on the clock, as Kane held the ball up well and spun away from Medhi Benatia before passing out to Son.
Son twisted one way and then went on the outside and forced the Juventus captain to parry his effort and fortunately for the visitors it went away to safety.
A sloppy pass from Hugo Lloris allowed the Serie A side to attack in the sixth minute and less than 60 seconds later a dangerous Douglas Costa cross just evaded Higuain.
Tottenham had definitely made the better start though and had a decent shout for a spot-kick in the 12th minute when Giorgio Chiellini handled a pass when trying to intercept a through ball to Kane.
Referee Szymon Marciniak waved away appeals and three minutes later and the hosts attacked with purpose again.
Dele Alli was involved this time as he played a perfectly weighted through ball for Kane, the England man beat Chiellini to the ball, rounded Buffon, but with the angle tight, he fired into the side netting.
The tie was finely poised, but both sides were committing more and more and in the 17th minute, Juventus had a very good penalty shout of their own.
Dybala threaded a pass into Douglas Costa and he showed great pace to get away from Vertonghen, the Tottenham defender slide in and looked to catch the wide-man, but despite huge appeals from the Italians, no spot-kick was awarded.
Chances continued to flow with Spurs going close twice in the 20th minute as first of all Christian Eriksen’s effort was blocked and then Buffon punched away a Son header after Trippier’s cross.
Juventus broke with pace after the save, but Davinson Sanchez got the Wembley crowd off their feet with a well timed tackle on Miralem Pjanic,
Another opportunity occurred three minutes later when Mousa Dembele breezed past Douglas Costa before finding Son.
The South Korean got away Andrea Barzagli, but as he raced into the area Chiellini came across well to block his shot.
Spurs had started impressively, yet Vertonghen hadn’t and he went into the book with 27 on the clock for a rash tackle on Dybala near the touchline.
It didn’t affect the Lilywhites though, as they continued to retain possession well and seek an opening.
Alli was the next person to test Buffon with 32 minutes as Benatia’s header fell for the 21-year-old, but his 25-yard effort was saved with ease.
Son, who had given Barzagli a torrid time in the opening half an hour, was then given some rough treatment when the right-back fouled the South Korean and proceeded to stamp on him twice.
Referee Marciniak got his yellow card out again in the 35th minute when Alex Sandro fouled Trippier and Tottenham then moved up a gear before the break.
Mousa Dembele in particular was having another stormer against Sami Khedira and Matuidi and then Spurs wasted a great chance to take the lead in the 38th minute.
A Ben Davies forward pass came for Son and he raced into the area and despite having a clear sight of goal, he dragged his effort wide from 12-yards.
It was a big opportunity for the hosts, but almost straight away after it was forgotten as Tottenham took the lead.
Eriksen slipped in Alli and just as he was about to shoot, Barzagli came across to make a superb tackle.
The ball rolled for Trippier though and his centre found Son at the back post and even though the 25-year-old hit the ball against his standing foot, it ricocheted past Chiellini on the line and Buffon to fire Spurs in front.
Wembley was rocking now, but Juventus came back strong and Douglas Costa’s cross found Matuidi, he laid it off for Pjanic, but he curled wide of Lloris’ goal four minutes before the break.
The Bosnian was the next player to go into the book with 44 on the clock and despite two minutes of stoppage time being added on at the end of the half, it remained 1-0 to the hosts at the interval.
Spurs had Allegri’s team exactly where they wanted them – needing two goals and looking open at the back.
Juventus were by no means out of the contest though and considering they had made the final in two of the last three years, a big response was expected of them following half time.
What the Old Lady did after the interval was foul Tottenham repeatedly and Alex Sandro, Benatia and Chiellini all earned cautions inside the opening 10 minutes of the second period.
Alli also received a yellow for a high foot, but Pochettino would have been pleased with the way his side continued to prod and probe the Italian giants.
Juventus were struggling for ideas and so Allegri introduced Kwadwo Asamoah with an hour played as Matuidi made way following a bruising encounter with Dembele.
Seconds later and Stephan Lichtsteiner came on for Benatia with the centre back limping off.
The substitutions seemed to give the Serie A leaders more impetus as Asamoah got on the ball quickly and saw his cross sliced by Sanchez, but luckily for Spurs, Dybala could only fire well wide in the 62nd minute.
Juventus threatened again two minutes later and this time they made it count as they levelled the scores.
Substitute Lichtsteiner got to the byline and crossed for Khedira, he nodded the ball on and Higuian was there to volley past Lloris.
There was everything to play for now and the experience of the visitors began to show when they went ahead with 67 on the clock.
Sanchez got drawn to the ball and was turned by Higuian, the Argentinean then put his international colleague through on goal and he beat Lloris to send the Italians inside the ground into pandemonium.
It was now Spurs who were losing their composure and committing needless fouls as Juventus showed their cuteness at Wembley.
A substitution by Pochettino with 16 minutes left helped Tottenham regain a foothold in the contest as Lamela came on for Dier with Eriksen dropping into midfield alongside Dembele.
Spurs put a number of crosses into the Juventus penalty area, but Chiellini seemed to be on the end of all of them.
Tottenham were building more and more momentum and Eriksen went close in the 81st minute, but his effort was deflected wide after Son’s lay-off.
The South Korean was the next to try his luck and he came so close to equalising, but his 25-yard curler went just past the post.
Allegri made his final change moments later with Higuian making way for Stefano Sturaro before Pochettino brought on Fernando Llorente for Alli.
Llorente had an immediate impact as he won a number of headers and began to cause his old club problems.
Spurs were pushing for one final opportunity and it arrived on the stroke of the 90 when Davies produced an excellent cross and Kane headed back across goal.
His effort beat Buffon, but hit the post and rolled across the line before it was cleared, it was agonisingly close for Tottenham.
The mood inside Wembley didn’t improve when only three minutes of stoppage time were added on at the end of the 90 and Spurs were desperate for another chance, but it didn’t come.
Referee Marciniak blew the full time whistle to end the Lilywhites journey in the Champions League for this season.
It was a brave effort by Pochettino’s men, but the experience and class of the Italians told in the end.
Spurs will look for an immediate response on Sunday when they travel to AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (C); Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier (Lamela 74), Dembele; Eriksen, Alli (Llorente 85), Son, Kane.
Unused substitutes: Vorm, Rose, Wanyama, Sissoko, Lucas Moura.
Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Benatia (Lichsteiner 61), Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi (Asamoah 60); Dybala, Higuain (Sturaro 84), Douglas Costa.
Unused substitutes: Szczęsny, Rugani, Marchisio, Bentancur.