Juventus
    24.02.2016 09:00 - in: Champions League S

    The numbers behind the drama

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    Juventus.com trawls through the facts and figures of a heart-stopping night in Turin

    How do you summarise an evening like that? How do you explain the emotion of netting twice in the final half hour and to even come close to snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in the closing stages? How do you round up the Bianconeri’s sterling second-half comeback?

    Some of the secrets at least behind last night’s drama lie in the key stats, facts and figures from Turin in an encounter more than any other to be seen again at Juventus Stadium was a “game of two halves.”

    While Bayern Munich’s goals would indeed come either side of half-time, becoming the first side to score twice against Juve on their home turf this season, there was little doubt that the encounter swung at the half-time interval.

    A simple proof of this can be found in the number of shots taken by both sides: in the first half the Germans peppered Gianluigi Buffon’s goal, producing eight attempts to the Bianconeri’s three, a stat which turned on its head after the interval, Juve taking aim eight times to Bayern’s five. 

    And, when the home side did spring forward they did so with great accuracy, testing Manuel Neuer on seven occasions, a total bettered only in December’s narrow defeat to Sevilla. In fact, Bayern themselves had only conceded more shots on target to Arsenal (eight) before Tuesday night’s engrossing affair.

    Two of those efforts of course found the back of the German champions’ net, a feat not achieved by Juve since October 2005, with it bringing maiden Champions League strikes for both Paulo Dybala, the first of many one suspects, and second-half substitute Stefano Sturaro.

    Admittedly, matters were looking bleak for Massimiliano Allegri’s men before the interventions of his two young stars as the impressive Bayern forced his team to defend on the edge of their own penalty area for the majority of the opening period.

    As you can see from the graphic below, the visitors at times had all ten of their outfield players stationed in the Juventus half, with goalkeeper Neuer taking up a position 30 yards from his own goal. 

    Unsurprisingly, the territorial superiority of Pep Guardiola’s side saw them dominate possession: the Germans, even in spite of Juve’s second-half revival, would end the night having enjoyed 67 per cent of the play, taking 868 touches to the hosts’ 525.

    Crucially however, their passing and pressure on the ball yielded only two goals against an initially cautious but ultimately spirited and committed Bianconeri outfit. A quick glance at the heatmap below of the ground covered by Allegri’s men will demonstrate that. 

    Two of the best examples perhaps of the tireless work put in by the Juventus midfield can be found in the numbers posted by Paul Pogba and Juan Cuadrado, whose personal duel with Douglas Costa was a sight to behold throughout the entire 90 minutes.

    Pogba typically contributed to all aspects of his team’s play, regaining possession 11 times, completing six dribbles and taking 63 touches, while Cuadrado’s endless energy, putting in three crosses, as many tackles and winning five free-kicks was more crucial than ever in getting his team up the pitch.

    As the Colombian said himself in his post-match interview, if the Bianconeri can begin the second leg as they finished the first, it’s game on in Munich.

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