How Allegri's second-half substitutions saw Juventus knock out Tottenham with 2-1 win

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Tottenham fell tantalisingly short of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals after crashing out in heartbreaking fashion to Juventus.

They built on their 2-2 draw from the first leg by taking a 1-0 lead at home on Wednesday through Son Heung-min’s first-half goal, but quick-fire goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala turned the tie on its head, ultimately seeing Juventus through.

Here’s a look at how the two managers fared.

STATS

Tottenham

Goals – 1

Shots – 23

Possession – 54%

Tackles – 12

Dribbles – 16

Juventus

Goals – 2

Shots – 9

Possession – 46%

Tackles – 22

Dribbles – 14

30-SECOND REPORT

Pochettino

Pochettino played a 4-3-3, asking his players to seize the moment rather than relying on a tactical masterstroke. In the first half, they did just that, as they built on their first-leg performance to take the lead and looked certain to advance.

However, Spurs’ inability – or unwillingness – to shut up shop cost them, a failure to extend their lead was punished when their defence was left exposed.

Allegri

Responding to Spurs’ midfield domination from the first leg, Allegri opted for a 4-3-3 with two defensive-minded central midfielders in Sami Khedira and Blaise Matuidi alongside Miralem Pjanic. Yet in the first half, the story was much the same as the game in Turin.

But Juventus grew into the game in the second half after the introduction of left-back Kwadwo Asamoah added balance to the side, and they duly turned the tie around with two quick goals.

TACTICAL TALKING POINTS

Pochettino

ATTACKING THRUST

Pochettino could have played for a 0-0, but he stuck to his guns and Spurs started the game as if they needed a goal more than Juventus. It paid off initially, as they took a 1-0 lead into half-time.

But 1-0 was always precarious – Spurs needed a second goal to feel secure. Their search for one left them defensively vulnerable, and a tactical switch from Juve allowed the visitors to exploit that and turn the game on its head.

Son Heung-min had given Spurs what looked like a decisive lead.

Son Heung-min had given Spurs what looked like a decisive lead.

Allegri

FRONT THREE

Dybala and Douglas Costa started either side of Gonzalo Higuain up front, with the Argentine stationed nominally on the left. The set-up often left Juve’s attack looking disjointed and lopsided, as neither Dybala nor Costa really linked up with Higuain.

Dybala’s tendency to pop up in the middle or even on the right, meant the left side of Juve’s attack was largely non-existent. There was too much ground for full-back Alex Sandro to cover, and Blaise Matuidi looked uncomfortable drifting out to the left to offer width.

SUBSTITUTION

Replacing Matuidi with Kwadwo Asamoah and moving Andrea Barzagli into the middle with Stephan Lichtsteiner slotting in at right-back with Mehdi Benatia coming off instantly changed the game. The Swiss international’s cross led to the equaliser.

Meanwhile, Sandro was allowed to be more involved in the attack, driving the rest of the midfield forward, and making Dybala’s free role more fruitful as there was someone taking up the spaces he vacated.

Dybala's goal sent Juve into the quarterfinals.

Dybala’s goal sent Juve into the quarterfinals.

VERDICT

Pochettino

It’s understandable that Pochettino didn’t want to upset Spurs’ momentum when they were 1-0 up and dominating, even if other managers may have shut up shop at half-time. But not doing so once it became 1-1 was naive, and it cost Tottenham.

Rating – 6/10

Allegri

The Juventus manager didn’t get his tactics right to start with, but when he finally realised how to fix it, the impact was instant. Rarely do substitutions change a tie so dramatically as Allegri’s decision to bring on Asamoah and Lichtsteiner.

Rating – 8/10

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Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala end Tottenham's Champions League run

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On target: Higuain

Tottenham’s Champions League dream was ended by a second-half sucker-punch from Italian champions Juventus.

Spurs, leading 1-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate through Son Heung-min’s goal, were half an hour from reaching the quarter-finals and proving that finally they belong among Europe’s heavyweights.

But two goals in three minutes from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala floored Mauricio Pochettino’s side as their European run finally came to a halt with a 4-3 aggregate defeat.

It was a brave display from Spurs, who came agonisingly close to forcing extra time when Harry Kane hit a post with a minute to play, but Champions League glory will have to wait for another year at least.

Having battled back from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Turin last month, Tottenham knew a clean sheet would be enough to finish the job and add Juve to the scalps of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

Yet Spurs were never likely to sit back and in a breakneck start from the hosts, Son had a snap-shot palmed out by veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon with the rebound just evading Kane and Dele Alli.

Kane then surged past Giorgio Chiellini and rounded Buffon only to uncharacteristically find the sidenetting, albeit from an admittedly tight angle.

Tottenham had a major let-off when Douglas Costa raced past Jan Vertonghen and was clearly tripped by the Spurs defender, but to the disbelief of the Juve players Polish referee Szymon Marciniak gave nothing.

Meanwhile, Son had been riled by a tangle with Andrea Barzagli, who trod on the forward twice as he lay on the floor following a barge in the back.

He exacted revenge six minutes before half-time, moments after drilling a shot across goal and wide after being sent through by Alli.

That looked a big miss, but barely 30 seconds later the South Korean made amends, arriving at the far post to convert a low cross from Kieran Trippier.

It was not the cleanest of strikes, Son scuffing the ball into the turf before it spun and looped in between Chiellini and Buffon, but it elicited the almighiest of roars around Wembley.

Juve now had 45 minutes to save their European season – and in the 64th minute they gave themselves a chance.

Higuain, the man who should probably have put the first leg out of Tottenham’s reach but for some poor misses, this time made no mistake when he hooked in Sami Khedira’s header at the far post.

And barely three minutes later Juve had turned the tie on its head, Dybala – who missed the first leg through injury – racing through onto Higuain’s pass and dispatching his shot across the exposed Hugo Lloris into the net.

Spurs tried to rouse themselves again but found Chiellini in their way, the defender whipping the ball from Kane’s foot as he went to tap in Son’s cross.

Son was inches wide with a curler before Kane’s header came back off a post and bounced on the line, only to be hacked clear by Barzagli in a dramatic finale which spelled heartbreak for Spurs.

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Max Allegri proves who's the boss and other Tottenham and Juventus talking points

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino greets Juventus opposite number Massimiliano Allegri.

Juventus came from behind to stun Tottenham and make the Champions League quarter-finals in epic fashion.

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.

Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus scores the equalising goal.

Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus scores the equalising goal.

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.

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.

Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur scores the opening goal.

Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur scores the opening goal.

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