Manchester City slipped to their first home defeat since December 2016 as Basel won the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie 2-1.
It was not enough to prevent Pep Guardiola’s side progressing to the quarter-finals, with Gabriel Jesus’ early goal helping them to an overall 5-2 aggregate success – but it was still an unexpected slip.
Jesus put the Premier League leaders ahead inside eight minutes but the Swiss champions responded to take victory on the night with goals from the impressive Mohamed Elyounoussi and Michael Lang.
Guardiola made six changes from the side that beat Chelsea at the weekend with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva among those not included – and not surprisingly the intensity dropped.
Veteran Yaya Toure started for the first time in 13 games and 17-year-old Phil Foden was also given an opportunity.
Back in the starting line-up too, for the first time since suffering a knee injury on New Year’s Eve, was Jesus – and the Brazilian was quick off the mark.
Leroy Sane cut through the Basel defence with a trademark run and Bernardo Silva played a low cross through the legs of two defenders to present Jesus with a simple tap-in at the far post. It was his 11th goal of the season but his first since November and his celebrations showed his relief after two frustrating months on the sidelines.
Basel, determined not to let down their large and noisy group of travelling fans, hit back in an attempt to at least make a contest of the game on the night.
Dimitri Oberlin robbed Oleksandr Zinchenko before firing over and Elyounoussi thumped in an equaliser after a Blas Riveros cross was deflected into his path. Elyounoussi beat Danilo to get through on goal again but could not get a shot away before Riveros shot at Claudio Bravo.
City appeared at times to be going through the motions but they also had chances as Riveros blocked a Silva shot and Tomas Vaclik saved at Ilkay Gundogan’s feet.
The pace dropped even more in the second half and City showed little urgency, seeming content to control possession without threatening in the final third.
The introduction of Brahim Diaz after the hour did inject some energy into midfield but City were caught out soon after as Basel took a shock lead on the night.
Aymeric Laporte switched off as Elyounoussi cut back from the right and fed Lang, who rifled a shot past Bravo at the near post.
City’s place in the last eight was never in doubt but they went through in subdued fashion and have still never won both legs of a Champions League knockout tie.
Juventus came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 in the Champions League round-of-16 second-leg clash at Wembley.
The hosts came into the fixture holding the upper hand thanks to a 2-2 draw in Turin in the first leg.
After Son Heung-min gave the hosts the lead, quick-fire strikes from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala saw the Juventus emerge victorious.
The Italian giants progress to the quarter-finals with a 4-3 aggregate win.
Here are our player ratings:
Hugo Lloris – 5: Didn’t make a single save and there was little he could do for the two goals.
Kieran Trippier – 5: Got the assist for Spurs but failed to track Higuain and then Dybala for the goals.
Davinson Sanchez – 6: Solid for Spurs but was drawn into Higuain as Dybala was slipped in.
Jan Vertonghen – 6: Was lucky not to give away a penalty in the first half after a challenge on Douglas Costa.
Ben Davies – 4: Was caught napping and played Dybala onside for the winner. Struggled thereafter.
Mousa Dembele – 8: Bossed the midfield in the first half but didn’t have the same command after going behind.
Eric Dier – 6: Disappointing with his passing and gave the ball away cheaply at various points.
Christian Eriksen – 7: Pulled the strings in the final third and created a host of chances. Typically busy
Dele Alli – 6: Kicked around as Juve couldn’t keep up. Endured more hurt than he inflicted on the defence though.
Son Heung-Min – 8: Scored the opener and always a threat. Didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
Harry Kane – 6: Had the beating of Juve’s aging centre-backs initially but they came to grips with him in the second half.
Erik Lamela – 5: Couldn’t make the ball stick in possession.
Fernando Llorente – N/A: Tried to exercise his aerial threat but never managed to.
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.
Goals – 1
Shots – 23
Possession – 54%
Tackles – 12
Dribbles – 16
Goals – 2
Shots – 9
Possession – 46%
Tackles – 22
Dribbles – 14
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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