UEFA Champions League – Tottenham-Juventus – Juventus comeback stuns Tottenham
Gonzalo Higuaín and Paulo Dybala’s quick-fire strikes catapulted Juventus into the last eight of the UEFA Champions League at Wembley Stadium.
Having come back to draw 2-2 in the first leg, Tottenham took the lead in the tie for the first time when Heung-Min Son scuffed in from Kieran Trippier’s 39th-minute cross. The home side then continued to hold sway until two goals in quick succession turned the contest on its head.
Higuaín levelled by stabbing in Sami Khedira’s flick-on to tie the aggregate score and, three minutes later, he slid a pass through the middle of the hosts’ defence that Dybala galloped on to before drilling past Hugo Lloris to complete a stunning turnaround.
Key player: Gonzalo Higuaín (Juventus)
It was a remarkable second half from Higuaín, who scored Juventus’ first and made the second for compatriot Dybala. The Argentinian forward contributed three of the Bianconeri’s four goals in the tie, and changed the course of the Wembley second leg through force of personality alone. Juventus weren’t at their best but Higuaín, who had been suffering from an ankle injury in the build-up, most certainly was. For all the pre-match talk of Harry Kane – who headed against the post in the last minute – Higuaín stole the show.
Reporter talking points
Daniel Thacker, Tottenham: Gianluigi Buffon spoke beforehand about how the more clinical side would win this game, and with it the tie. He was right. Spurs – and particularly goalscorer Son – were guilty of spurning a number of chances, whereas Juventus took their two opportunities with supreme confidence. Regardless of tonight’s result, Spurs will harbour good memories of this campaign but right now, after a madcap and decisive four-minute period, that will be scant consolation.
Paolo Menicucci, Juventus: This was a coaching lesson by professor Massimiliano Allegri. With his side needing two goals in the second half and no attacking players on the substitute bench as Federico Bernardeschi, Juan Cuadrado and Mario Mandžukić were unavailable, the Bianconeri coach still managed to make the difference with two substitutions in quick succession. The wonderful performance of his veteran defenders did the rest.
- Higuaín has nine goals in his last seven games in all competitions
- Dybala’s goal was his first in 11 #UCL games
- Juventus are into the quarter-finals for third time in four years
- Defeat ends Spurs’ 15-match run without defeat at Wembley (W13 D2)
- Son’s goal was only the fourth Juventus have conceded in 20 matches