Tottenham Hotspur take control with impressive draw in Turin
Champions League Last 16 First Leg, Juventus Stadium - Juventus 2 (Higuain 2', 9' pen) Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Kane 35', Eriksen 71')
Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen were on the scoresheet as Tottenham came from behind to earn an impressive 2-2 draw with Juventus and take control of the tie.
The Premier League side suffered a nightmarish start as they conceded two goals inside nine first-half minutes with talisman Gonzalo Higuain grabbing a brace.
The deadlock was broken after only 90 seconds when Miralem Pjanic’s quickly-taken free-kick picked out the Argentine whose delicious first-time volley found the bottom corner.
Things went from bad to worse for Spurs when Ben Davies hacked down Federico Bernardeschi inside the box, forcing referee Felix Brych to point to the spot and Higuain confidently converted the penalty.
Harry Kane (Tottenham)Getty Images
But the hosts - seemingly content with their lead - began to sit back and allowed Spurs back into the contest. And 10 minutes before the interval Harry Kane pulled a deserved goal back for Mauricio Pochettino’s side for his seventh goal of the tournament.
Spurs may have been in the ascendancy but Juventus were handed the perfect opportunity to restore their two-goal winning margin on the stroke of half time when Serge Aurier upended Douglas Costa inside the penalty area, but Higuain – on a hat-trick – struck his spot-kick at the crossbar.
Tottenham remained the dominate force after the interval and were finally rewarded for their endeavour when Christian Eriksen’s free-kick somehow sneaked past Gianluigi Buffon, setting up a tantalising second-leg at Wembley on March 7.
TALKING POINT - Gutsy Spurs are now favourites
At two goals down, Spurs had a mountain to climb against a team that had won their previous 11 matches and had not conceded a single goal this calendar year. Pochettino's side could have caved in, but instead they kept their belief, continued with their gameplan and more than earned their 2-2 draw.
Gonzalo Higuain looks dejectedGetty Images
Eriksen was the orchestrator in midfield, but there were other star performers like Dele Alli, Mousa Dembele and of course their best player Kane. You can't write the experienced Juventus off, but this young and vibrant Spurs side are now surely the favourites to reach the last eight.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
The Dane covered every inch of grass with a complete performance. Controlled midfield, found holes in a compact Juventus midfield and unlocked their defence with incisive passing. Scored the leveller with a sweet free-kick, even if Buffon should have saved it.
- 2’ - GOAL! Juventus 1-0 Tottenham (Higuain): The worst possible start for Tottenham! It's really poor defending from the visitors who are caught sleeping from a free-kick. Pjanic is fouled in midfield and he takes the set-piece quickly, lobbing the ball through to Higuain who finishes emphatically with a lovely first-time volley which nestles into the bottom corner.
- 9’ - GOAL! Juventus 2-0 Tottenham (Higuain pen): Lloris gets a hand to Higuain's penalty but there's so much pace and power on the shot he can't prevent it from hitting the bottom corner. It's a long way back for Spurs now. They're in real trouble.
- 30’ - SO CLOSE! Higuain, on a hat-trick, should score! Juventus are always dangerous on the counter-attack and they catch Spurs napping. A long ball over the top is latched onto by Pjanic, he feeds Higuain who checks back onto his left foot and drills the ball agonisingly wide from inside the box.
- 35’ - GOAL! Juventus 2-1 Tottenham (Kane): Game on! Alli bides his time and picks out Kane with a beautifully weighted pass. The England forward, cool as you like, rounds Buffon before sliding into an empty net with a slight angle. It's nine goals in nine games for Kane.
- 45’ +1 - PENALTY TO JUVENTUS! Aurier commits a reckless foul on Douglas Costa inside the box... and Juventus have their second penalty of the night.
- 45’+2 - OFF THE BAR! Higuain steps up to strike the penalty... and smashes it at the crossbar! Incredible scenes in Turin!
- 71’ - GOAL! Juventus 2-2 Tottenham (Eriksen): Eriksen, the man for the big moment, levels the scores with a well-taken free-kick from 20 yards! Alli did brilliantly to win a free-kick from Chielini. The Dane steps up and strikes a low shot which sneaks past the wall and into the bottom corner. Buffon got a touch but couldn't keep it out.
- Harry Kane has equalled the record for the most goals scored by an English player in a single Champions League season (7), level with Steven Gerrard in 2008-09.
- Kane has scored more goals in his first nine Champions League appearances (9) than any player in the history of the competition, ahead of Ronaldinho, Simone Inzaghi, Didier Drogba & Diego Costa (8).
- Prior to Kane's goal, Gianluigi Buffon had not conceded goals for 694 consecutive minutes between Juventus and Italy (the previous one was Sweden's goal last November).
- Gonzalo Higuain's brace is the fastest scored by a Juventus player in Champions League/European Cup history.
- Higuain netted the second fastest Champions League goal for Juventus after Allesandro del Piero in 1997 against Manchester United.
- This was the first competitive meeting between the clubs.
- Spurs are one of four teams still unbeaten in this season's Champions League, alongside Barcelona, Besiktas and Liverpool.
- Juventus are unbeaten in their past 23 Champions League home games (W14 D9), their longest such run. Bayern Munich were the last team to beat them in Turin, back in April 2013.
- Juventus have lost only two of their past 20 Champions League games (v Real Madrid in last season's final and Barcelona in this season's group stages), winning 12 and drawing six.
- Juve are on a seven-match (W3 D4) unbeaten run against Premier League clubs, winning their last three fixtures – most recently a 1-0 home defeat of Manchester City in the 2015/16 group stage.