Sun | May 27, 2018

Spurs hit back to hold Juve

Published:Wednesday | February 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Tottenham's Harry Kane celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Champions League, round of 16, first-leg match against Juventus at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy yesterday.

TURIN, Italy (AP):

Tottenham recovered from conceding twice inside the opening nine minutes to draw 2-2 against Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 match yesterday.

Gonzalo Higuain scored twice, including a penalty, but the Argentina forward also hit the bar from another spot kick at the end of an exhilarating first half.

Tottenham had managed to reduce the deficit by then through Harry Kane, and Christian Eriksen levelled in the 72nd minute as Spurs made a mockery of the so-called impregnability of the Bianconeri defence.

The return fixture is on March 7.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri went for an attacking line-up, with Federico Bernardeschi, Douglas Costa and Mario Mandzukic supporting Higuain.

And that paid off right from the start in a nightmare opening 10 minutes for Spurs.

BAD TO WORSE

Mousa Dembele fouled Miralem Pjanic, 30 metres from goal, inside the first minute. Pjanic himself took the free kick and picked out Higuain, who beat the offside trap to volley into the far corner.

Matters swiftly went from bad to worse for Spurs as Ben Davies tripped Bernardeschi inside the area and referee Felix Brych pointed instantly to the spot.

Higuain stepped up and placed a precise penalty into the bottom left corner for his second of the match and his eighth in his past five matches.

Tottenham had a mountain to climb against a side which had only conceded one goal in its past 16 matches.

But it got one back when Kane ran onto Dele Alli's through ball, took it round the onrushing Gianluigi Buffon and calmly deposited into an empty net.

Spurs were pushing for the equaliser, but Juventus almost extended its lead on the stroke of half-time when Serge Aurier brought down Douglas Costa in the area.

Higuain stepped up again, but rather than complete his hat-trick, smashed the ball onto the crossbar.

Juventus missed other chances to extend its lead and was made to pay for their profligacy as Eriksen fired a low free kick into the bottom left corner.

Manchester City thrashed Basel 4-0 in Switzerland in yesterday's other Champions League match.

Ilkay Gundogan (two), Bernado Silva and Sergio Aguero were on target for Manchester City.