Juventus
    02.11.2016 22:53 - in: Match report S

    Honours even at Juventus Stadium

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    Gonzalo Higuain’s first-half penalty is ruled out by Corentin Tolisso’s late header as the Bianconeri are made to settle for a point at Juventus Stadium

    Juventus were made to wait to seal their qualification to the Champions League last 16 as Corentin Tolisso’s late header ruled out Gonzalo Higuain’s first-half penalty in a tense 1-1 draw in Turin.

    Taking the lead early on through Higuain’s spot-kick, his ninth goal of the campaign in all competitions, the Bianconeri found themselves pinned back by their resilient visitors after the break who went home with a deserved point after an improved second-half showing.

    On the night in which he racked up his 100th UCL appearance, it would be up to Gianluigi Buffon to produce the game’s first moment of quality, saving superbly from Maciej Rybus’ angled shot with his legs on eight minutes.

    The skipper’s stop took on even greater value five minutes later as Gonzalo Higuain was felled in the box to earn Juve a penalty, an opportunity taken without hesitation by the in-form Argentine for his second strike in the competition this term.

    In between a stinging half-volley from Claudio Marchisio midway through the half, Higuain might have even doubled his tally shortly before the interval, scooping over the bar with Anthony Lopes beaten after excellent link-up play with strike partner Mario Mandzukic.

    As expected, a more resolute and committed Lyon emerged for the second period as the French side enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory but found themselves up against a rock-solid Juventus backline.

    Marshalled superbly by Andrea Barzagli, joined in central defence by Medhi Benatia and Patrice Evra after the withdrawal of Leonardo Bonucci, Massimiliano Allegri’s men gradually took the sting out of the away side’s momentum as the tighly-contested encounter edged towards full-time.

    Bruno Genesio’s men would eventually be rewarded for their endeavour however on 85 minutes as Corentin Tolissio ghosted into the box to guide a header past a helpless Buffon to level things up at Juventus Stadium.

    The evening’s action would end there as the Bianconeri now turn their attentions to the all-important trip to southern Spain on 22 November when they face new group leaders Sevilla, 4-0 victors over Dinamo Zagreb in Wednesday’s other fixture.

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