It was always going to be hard for the Bianconeri after the shock of going behind to Benfica after just one minute and 56 seconds – the second fastest goal in the Europa League this season – but they didn’t crumble by any means in last night's semi-final first leg at the Estadio da Luz.
In fact, the statistics show that Antonio Conte’s men would go on to dictate the tempo themselves away from home in Lisbon, something that will give them confidence when they look to overturn the 2-1 scoreline in the Eagles’ favour when the teams meet again in Turin next Thursday.
Possession is one area where the way in which the Bianconeri grew in stature is supremely clear. While it was all Benfica in the opening 20 minutes or so, Juve eventually consigned the hosts to their lowest share of possession in this year’s competition: 42.5 per cent.
After a relatively quiet first half from both sides in terms of shots, Conte’s men made notable inroads in the second, clocking up 10 attempts in total by the final whistle.
But the fact that any slip-up can prove deadly at this level was made ruthlessly unmistakable by the fact that Benfica scored from both of their only two shots on goal in the entire game, Lima lashing into the roof of the net late on for their second.
However, one of Juventus’ five shots on target had seen Carlos Tevez put an end to a goalless five years in Europe with a remarkable strike; one which leaves their chances of qualification for the Juventus Stadium final very much open.