After the 2-2 draw from the first leg, the Old Lady seemed to be out for the count when South Korea forward Son Heung-min scruffily opened the scoring for the hosts at Wembley.
But an emphatic second-half response saw the Argentina pair of Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala secure a memorable 4-3 aggregate victory in the space of three second-half minutes. In response, Spurs saw Harry Kane’s header agonisingly trickle across the goal line.
DON’T COUNT THE OLD LADY OUT
This was meant to be the final swansong for many members of this storied Juve squad.
Outrun and outmanoeuvred in the round-of-16 opener which saw them collapse from two goals ahead, a collection of players who’ve delivered six-successive Serie A titles had supposedly run a race too far.
As Spurs again burst out of the block in the second leg, the end seemed nigh. How wrong we all were.
The 33-year-old Giorgio Chiellini was the best player on the pitch, making the joint-most tackles (four), plus most clearances (13) and blocks (three). The 40-year-old Gianluigi Buffon was written off after the first leg, yet one save in particular from Son was outstanding.
The 34-year-old right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner emerged from the bench and had a huge hand in Higuain’s volley. Even derided 30-year-old Germany centre midfielder Khedira decisively stepped it up.
These veterans set the base for emerging Argentina forward Paulo Dybala to clinch it with a deadly shot when played clean through. There is still plenty of life in the Old Lady.
MASTER AND APPRENTICE
The contrast in hype surrounding the two men in the dugouts is glaring.
Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino is cast as the coming force in club management, his tactical fluidity and belief in attacking football attracting admiring glances across Europe.
For Juventus supremo Massimiliano Allegri, an air of reluctant acceptance often surrounds his sterling achievements. It could be linked to the way his AC Milan stint started with glory and then slowly disintegrated, or the fact he inherited a winning machine in Turin.
But these views do great disservice to the latter and overplay the achievements of the former.
Pochettino gets all the plaudits, but he has no trophies. Glaringly, this submission he oversaw is typical of the ‘Spursy’ nature so mocked by opposing fans.
It had echoes of the 2015/16 Premier League collapse to third-place in a two-horse race and the 4-2 loss to Chelsea in last term’s FA Cup semi-finals.
Allegri rose his troops off the ground at Wembley, decisively correcting his error to start veteran Andrea Barzagli at right-back by bringing on Lichtsteiner and ramping up the intensity when required.
His lauded opposite number can still only dream of making two of the last three Champions League finals and lifting nine major trophies.
2 - Premier League clubs lost just three of their 36 Champions League games in 2017-18 before Spurs & Manchester City lost tonight. Blip.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 7, 2018
SON SHINES THROUGH
Son Heung-min was the surprise name to miss out on manager Pochettino’s XI for the first leg in Turin, being granted just seven minutes off the substitutes’ bench.
The crafty forward’s fine performance on a disappointing Wednesday night should ensure there is no repetition of this oversight.
Of course, there was a huge slice of luck attached to his opener. His bobbled shot befuddled gnarled veteran Chiellini and denied Buffon a 50th clean sheet in Europe’s premier club competition.
Yet you cannot under play the influence Son’s effervescent style and relentless pace.
He consistently caused chaos from his left-wing spot, especially when the exposed Barzagli was deployed at right-back.
But beyond this round-of-16 disappointment, headlined by Kane’s disappearing act with the least touches of anyone who played all 90 minutes, Son’s influence is staggering.
He’s now been directly involved in 22 goals in 23 run-outs at Wembley – 14 goals, eight assists.
Tottenham crashed out of the Champions League at Wembley as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Juventus in the round of 16.
The hosts came into the fixture holding the upper hand thanks to a 2-2 draw in Turin in the first leg.
Son Heung-min opened the scoring but two goals in three minutes in the second half from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala turned the tie on its head.
The Italian giants progress to the quarter-finals with a 4-3 aggregate win.
Here are our player ratings:
Gianluigi Buffon – 7: Had a couple of routine saves and was beaten by a scuffed effort.
Andrea Barzagli – 4: Had a nightmare against Son who ran circles around him. Much better in the centre.
Mehdi Benatia – 6: Was Juve’s best defender in the first half. Hooked in favour of Lichsteiner.
Giorgio Chiellini – 8: Had a disastrous first half, but showed all his experience in the second. Inspirational.
Alex Sandro – 5: Went on a couple of good runs forwards, but largely anonymous with Eriksen tucking in.
Douglas Costa – 6: Provided the penetration in attack, but his final ball was lacking.
Sami Khedira – 6: Great header towards Higuain for the equaliser. Ran his socks off.
Miralem Pjanic – 6: Not at his best and was wayward with his passing. A few classy touches though.
Blaise Matuidi – 5: Struggled against Spurs’ midfield and spent much of the first half chasing Son’s shadow.
Paulo Dybala – 8: Quiet for the most part but like his winner against Lazio, showed his class when it mattered.
Gonzalo Higuain – 8: Showed great instincts to stab home the equaliser and assisted the winner.
Kwadwo Asamoah – 6: Was solid at the back, but could’ve been better in possession.
Stephan Lichtsteiner – 8: Changed the game when he came on. Delivered the cross that led to the leveller.
Stefano Sturaro – N/A: Replaced Higuain in the closing stagess.
Claudio Bravo – Alert against Basel’s pacy attackers on edge of box, charging out three times to defuse dangerous situations. However there’s a reason why Pep Guardiola replaced him with Ederson – he was far too easily beaten at the near post for Michael Lang’s winner. 5
Danilo – Did not cover himself in glory for breakdown in defence that led to Mohamed Elyounoussi’s equaliser. Regained composure and made a couple of key interceptions down his flank. 6
John Stones – It should worry City fans that Stones has taken a major step back since last season – did little to calm down a defence that has had little time together when he should be taking the lead as the most experienced man. 5
Aymeric Laporte – A night to forget for the January signing. Out of position for the first goal and weakly attempts to stop Lang before the Switzerland international fired in Basel’s second. 4
Oleksandr Zinchenko – Plenty of potential, but has recently showed evidence of a reckless streak. Too many times he was caught on his heels in the opposition half and stumbled over his own feet trying to chase back. 4
Ilkay Gundogan – Not at his metronomic best and, in a criticism that could be levelled to the whole City team, did not look motivated by the ‘challenge’. Man who set record for most touches in Premier League game against Chelsea only had 63 in a possession-heavy game before being hooked in the 65th minute. 5
Yaya Toure – Has received very few minutes this year and it showed in defence, as he was slow to chase down in the build-up to Lang’s winner. To his credit, he kept City ticking over in possession at a 97.3 per cent pass success rate. 6
Phil Foden – Though it is easy to see why Pep Guardiola is taking it slowly with the prodigiously talented 17-year-old, showed enough deft touches and forward drive to highlight why he is so highly rated. 6
Bernardo Silva – When City looked like they would canter to victory in the first quarter-hour, Bernardo was at the heart of every move with his superb left foot. Faded, but is a genuine force at the Etihad after a slow start. 7
Gabriel Jesus – Plenty of energy without the finesse as he works his way back from injury. Simplest of finishes but for the rest of the night was frustrated by a Basel side that grew in confidence. 6
Leroy Sane – Knocked off his stride by a horror challenge a couple of months ago but on this evidence, he’s right back up to speed. Made three key passes, four dribbles, though like every City player had a so-so second half at best. 7
Brahim Diaz – It’s not just Phil Foden who is the future at the Etihad.The 18-year-old immediately resuscitated a flagging City after coming on for Gundogan, with one particular special dribble during which he beat four players. 7
Tosin Adarabioyo – Guardiola gave the 20-year-old defender the shortest of run-outs as he replaced Foden in the 88th minute. N/A