Christian Eriksen completed a remarkable Tottenham comeback as they rallied from two down to draw with Juventus in the Champions League last 16.
Spurs will take two precious away goals into the second leg at Wembley next month after Harry Kane’s clinical finish and a clever free-kick from the superb Eriksen ensured a fascinating contest finished 2-2 in Turin.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men were on the brink after Gonzalo Higuain put Juventus two up within nine minutes, the second a penalty after Ben Davies fouled Federico Bernardeschi.
But Kane pulled one back, only Juve’s second goal conceded in 17 games, before Higuain missed a second penalty, in what could prove a decisive moment in this tie.
Juve surrendered all momentum after their blistering start and Spurs will now be targeting a first Champions League quarter-final since 2011.
But whether it was nerves or a lack of concentration, Spurs made a nightmare start. It began with Jan Vertonghen’s skewed clearance causing momentary panic and the otherwise excellent Mousa Dembele responded by crashing into Miralem Pjanic.
What followed was the combination of a brilliantly executed free-kick and sloppy marking as Pjanic lofted the ball down the blind side of the wall where Higuain peeled away, before volleying first time past Hugo Lloris.
There was worse to come as an innocuous-looking pass was delivered towards Bernardeschi in the box and instead of standing his man up, Davies tried to win the ball but succeeded only in kicking his opponent.
Referee Felix Brych pointed to the spot, Higuain converted and Tottenham were two down within nine minutes.
Perhaps Juventus felt their work was done because almost instantly they retreated, dropping deep like the away side and allowing Spurs to dictate the contest.
Kane optimistically claimed for a penalty after going down under pressure from Medhi Benatia and then should have scored, but headed straight at Gianluigi Buffon from five yards.
The tie could have been over had Juve made the most of one scintillating counter-attack but Higuain, having expertly worked the space with a dummy, fired just wide of Lloris’ post.
Moments earlier, however, Dele Alli had only been denied by a last-ditch Bernardeschi challenge and Tottenham’s dominance finally paid off when the midfielder slipped Kane in behind. Kane coolly rounded Buffon and slotted in for his seventh goal of the tournament.
With Eriksen now running the game, the visitors fancied a second but such was the topsy-turvy nature of the half they also could have been dead and buried at the interval.
Another moment of madness saw Serge Aurier scythe down Douglas Costa in the box but this time Higuain, on a hat-trick, slammed his penalty against the crossbar. It was the last action of a breathless 45 minutes.
After the break, the game was more evenly split as Juve abandoned their rearguard action and met Tottenham higher up the pitch.
Bernardeschi’s shot was tipped wide by Lloris but as the clock drifted past the hour, both teams seemed wary of pushing forward for fear of
being opened up at the back.
So it was almost inevitable that any goal would come from a set-piece. Alli won the free-kick centrally on the edge of the area after drawing the foul from Giorgio Chiellini and Eriksen drilled it low and into the bottom corner. Buffon might have been disappointed not to push it round the post.
That knocked the stuffing out of Juventus as January signing Lucas Moura came on to make his Tottenham debut off the bench. It was Pochettino smiling and the travelling fans singing at the final whistle.
Juventus looked well on their way to another comprehensive Champions League victory against an upstart young side when Gonzalo Higuain‘s brace put the hosts 2-0 up against Tottenham inside nine minutes.
Unfortunately, some wasteful finishing after that, including a missed penalty from Higuain, allowed Spurs to claw their way back and emerge from Turin with a 2-2 draw.
Here’s a look at the performance of the Juventus players.
Gianluigi Buffon – A rare off day for the Italian great, as he fumbled a couple of long-range shots and was at fault for Tottenham’s second goal. 5
Mattia De Sciglio – It’s not often that Juventus’ best defender isn’t Giorgio Chiellini or Medhi Benatia, but De Sciglio had a brilliant game at the back for the hosts. 8
Medhi Benatia – Wasn’t able to replicate his imperious Serie A form on Tuesday night, looking hesitant against Harry Kane. 6
Giorgio Chiellini – Gave away the free-kick for Spurs’ second, which along with Higuain’s penalty miss could end up being the costliest moment of the tie. 6
Alex Sandro – Was his usual barnstorming self down the left-hand side, and stood up well against Tottenham’s attacks. 7
Sami Khedira – Failed to offer the required control in midfield, as Tottenham overran Juventus after going 2-0 down. 5
Miralem Pjanic – Played a clever free-kick for Juve’s opener, although he rarely played a telling ball after that. 6
Federico Bernardeschi – Won the penalty for Higuain and had a rasping shot in the second half that Lloris saved. 7
Douglas Costa – A few clever runs, and was crumpled by Aurier for the penalty that Higuain missed. 6
Mario Mandzukic – Was a willing runner as always, tracking back as well as proving a crucial part of Juve’s attack. 7
Gonzalo Higuain – His two-goal blitz at the start of the game set the tone for the tie, but Juventus will rue his missed chances, especially the one from the penalty spot. 8
Rodrigo Bentacur – Had little impact after coming on midway through the second half for Khedira. 5
Stefano Sturaro – Came on with just under 15 minutes left, but didn’t have the chance to do much. 5
Kwadwo Asamoah – Entered the fray with the match nearly over, allowing him no time to make an impact. 5
Tottenham would’ve feared the worst after falling behind 2-0 at Juventus with just nine minutes gone, but this Spurs side showed steel and maturity to complete a thrilling comeback and head back to London with a 2-2 draw.
Here, we rate how the Spurs players fared against last year’s Champions League runners-up.
Hugo Lloris – Got his hands to both of Juve’s goals. Even though one was a penalty, he’ll feel he should’ve done better. 6
Serge Aurier – Easily the worst player from either side on the night. Lucky that the penalty he gave away didn’t lead to a goal. 3
Davinson Sanchez – A rough initiation for the young defender, who at times looked out of his depth against Higuain but gamely carried on. 5
Jan Vertonghen – A stabilising force amidst the chaos being created by his fellow defenders. 6
Ben Davies – Gave away Juventus’ first penalty with a stupid tackle, and was sloppy on more than occasion, but he recovered well in the second half. 5
Eric Dier – Dictated the game well from midfield, especially in the second half as Spurs assumed the ascendancy. 6
Mousa Dembele – Along with Eriksen, was Spurs’ best player. His pace, power, and ability to control a game are just what everyone looks for in a midfielder. 9
Christian Eriksen – Was shaping to be a game of almosts for Eriksen, but then he produced his moment of brilliance, scoring a low free-kick to draw Spurs level. 9
Dele Alli – Still a little way off from his mercurial best, but he had a fascinating duel with Juve’s hard-nosed defenders. Won the free-kick that Eriksen converted. 6
Erik Lamela – Was picked based on his previous experience playing against Juventus during his Roma days, but failed to justify that selection. 5
Harry Kane – There’s no stopping this man at the moment. He probably should have scored at least once more, being denied from a point-blank header before scoring Spurs’ first goal on the night. 7
Son Heung-Min – Would have been disappointed not to start. Son had little to do after coming on, with Spurs looking to preserve their draw by that point. 5
Lucas Moura – An easy introduction to life as a Spurs player, as Moura made his Tottenham debut with barely any time left. 5
Victor Wanyama – Came on to help Spurs close up shop, although by that time the game was already petering away. 5