Juventus 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2: Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen help Spurs battle back from two goals down to draw in Italy
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Champions League round of 16, first leg: Juventus 2 (Higuain 2, 9) Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Kane 35, Eriksen 71)
Tottenham Hotspur battled back from two goals down to leave their Champions League round of 16 tie with Juventus delicately poised at 2-2 after the first leg.
Spurs made a disastrous start to the match, conceding twice to Gonzalo Higuain inside the opening 10 minutes, though pulled one back before the break through Harry Kane.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men were able to draw level in the second period, with Chrisitan Eriksen netted a set piece midway through the half to leave it all to play for in the second leg.
Making their first appearance in the knockout stage of the Champions League for seven years, Spurs endured a nightmare start as they conceded inside two minutes.
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A free-kick from Miralem Pjanic found Higuain unmarked in the box, with the Argentinean forward applying an emphatic finish to score past Hugo Lloris.
Things went from bad to worse for Spurs five minutes later when Ben Davies was adjudged tripped Federico Bernardeschi in the box.
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Former Real Madrid attacker Higuain stepped up to take the spot kick and was able to convert, despite France captain Lloris getting a hand to it.
After such a poor opening, Tottenham eventually grew into the match and should have drawn level in the 26th minute.
A dinked ball from Eriksen brilliantly found Kane six yards out, but his header was straight by Gianluigi Buffon.
The legendary Italian stopper still had to produce a fine reaction save, though, to keep the effort out.
Four minutes later, only a fine covering tackle from Mattia de Sciglio prevented Dele Alli from pulling one back for the Londoners.
Juve broke at speed down the other end, resulting with Higuain taking a shot from near the penalty spot, but - mercifully for Spurs – the forward fired wide.
With 13 minutes left in the half, Kane went close again, drawing a save on the stretch from Buffon with a shot on the turn.
The England skipper, however, eventually got the better of the Juventus stopper as Spurs scored a vital away goal in the 35th minute.
After being played in by Alli, Kane rounded Buffon, before calmly slotting the ball into an empty net.
Eriksen nearly drew Spurs level five minutes later, unleashing a howitzer from 30 yards that Buffon could only parry away.
In a period of dominance for Spurs, the Danish playmaker chipped the ball towards Alli at the back post a minute later, but the England international nodded over.
Despite all of Tottenham’s good work after going two goals down early on, they could have conceded a third on the stroke of half time.
Defender Serge Aurier fouled the rapid Douglas Costa in the penalty area, presenting Higuain with a chance to complete his hat-trick.
However, the Juve forward slammed saw his spot kick pushed onto the bar by Lloris, with referee Felix Brych signalling for half time soon after.
Lloris was called into action again 11 minutes into the second half, keeping out a powerful drive from Bernardeschi.
From the resulting corner, Higuain headed straight at the former Lyon stopper, with Tottenham breathing another sigh of relief.
The second half was a more open affair, with both teams embarking on breaks soon after an opposition attack broke down.
Kane nearly added a second in the 70th minute with an effort from the edge of the box, but Buffon got across his goal to keep the shot out.
Spurs were offered another chance to draw level two minutes later when Alli drew a foul from Giorgio Chiellini.
Eriksen took an age in setting himself to take the free kick from 20 yards, but it proved to be time well spent as he fired it low and hard past Buffon to restore parity.
With 13 minutes left in the half, Lloris showed good reactions to keep out a deflect Bernardeschi effort to keep Spurs level.
There were further scares for Tottenham, with Medhi Benatia going close from a corner late on.
However, Spurs were able to see out the remainder of the match without conceding again.
And after the opening 10 minutes, a draw and two away goals was a remarkable achievement for the Londoners.
Juventus (4-2-3-1): Buffon; De Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Sandro; Khedira (Bentancur 66), Pjanic, Bernardeschi, Costa, Mandzukic (Sturaro 76); Higuain.
Subs: Szczesny (GK), Marchisio, Asamoah, Rugani, Muratore.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Lamela (Lucas 88), Eriksen (Wanyama 90+2), Alli (Son 83); Kane.
Subs: Gazzaniga (GK), Trippier, Rose, Wanyama, Sissoko.
Referee: Felix Brych.