Juventus
    13.02.2018 22:55 - in: Match report S

    All level after first leg

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    Gonzalo Higuain scores twice for the Bianconeri, but Tottenham fight back to take a 2-2 draw to London

    Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur combined for an enthralling 90 minutes of Champions League football in Tuesday night’s round of 16 first leg at Allianz Stadium with the sides level at 2-2 ahead of the second leg at Wembley Stadium on 7 March.

    A captivating Gonzalo Higuain double fired the Bianconeri into an early lead, but the visitors fought back through Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen either side of half-time to level the tie after 90 minutes.

    It was a dream start for Juventus who took a stunning lead after less than two minutes. A wonderfully worked Miralem Pjanic free-kick was dinked to Higuain, who in one motion spun and fired past Hugo Lloris.

    Incredibly, the Juventus lead would be doubled with just nine minutes on the clock and it was that man Higuain again. Federico Bernardeschi was tripped up in the box by Tottenham defender Ben Davies and it was the Argentine who beat Lloris low to the goalkeeper’s right for the quickest Champions League brace in Bianconeri history.

    The visitors would respond strongly, however, with Kane forcing a pair of spectacular Gianluigi Buffon saves mid-way through the first half. Spurs would find a goal before the break, as they won the ball back in midfield, quickly shuffling it to Kane. The England international rounded Buffon and slotted into the empty net in the 35th minute to cut the hosts’ lead in half.

    There was nearly a sting in the tail before half-time as Douglas Costa was taken down in the Spurs penalty area in first-half stoppage time. Higuain stepped up to the spot looking to complete his hat-trick but he hit the crossbar and Juve entered the interval 2-1 up.

    Despite a relatively bright start to the second half by the Bianconeri in which Lloris made saves on Federico Bernardeschi and Mario Mandzukic, the visitors began to push doggedly for an equalizer and they found it in the 72nd minute. Dele Alli was fouled at the top of the box and Danish international Cristian Eriksen slotted the free-kick low into Buffon’s bottom-right corner, levelling the match at 2-2.

    With the second leg of this Champions League tie in the diary for 7 March in London, Juventus will first turn their sights back to Serie A action with the Derby Della Mole against inter-city rivals, Torino, set for a 12.30 CET kick-off at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday 18 February.

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