Champions League: Devastating spell sends Juventus through as Spurs crash out | Champions League | DW | 07.03.2018
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Champions League

Champions League: Devastating spell sends Juventus through as Spurs crash out

Gonzalo Higuain scored one and made another in a three minute spell that turned the tie on its head and dumped Spurs out of the Champions League. Manchester City will join Juventus in the last eight despite a rare loss.

Tottenham Hotspur (3) 1 - 2 (4) Juventus
(Son 39' - Higuain 64', Dybala 67')

The familiarity of the story made it no less palatable for Spurs as, once again, a brief lapse in concentration saw them punished for an otherwise dominant display.

In the first leg, the Italian giants raced in to a two goal lead thanks to Higuain before being pegged back. But they were much more cautious from the start on Wednesday, retreating and allowing the freedom of a spacious Wembley pitch to their hosts. Spurs, who have recovered from early jitters in their temporary home, revelled in that space creating chance after chance only to be repelled by Gianluigi Buffon.

Son Heung-min had tested the 40-year-old keeper more than most and finally made the breakthrough with the worst of his efforts. The former Bayer Leverkusen man scuffed his shot horribly from Kieran Trippier's low cross but it ballooned over Buffon and in.

While Juve may have been frustrated by the manner of the lead, and the denial of a certain penalty early in the half, they were lucky to go in with the deficit standing at a single goal, while the cynical nature of their tackling will have won them few friends.

The visitors showed a little more intent in the second half but didn't look dangerous until another devastating Higuain spell turned the game on its head. First the Argentine reacted quickly to Sami Khedira's flicked header to prod in at the back post then, less than three minutes later, he turned in the middle of the pitch, drew three Spurs men towards him and released Paulo Dybala. The forward, who missed the first leg, timed his run to beat the offside trap and lashed past Hugo Lloris without hesitation.

Suddenly the pattern of the game, and the balance of the tie had been turned on its head, with Spurs now lacking in composure and Juve the more threatening.

Gradually, Spurs started to find a threat again, as a shellshocked crowd recovered to urge them on. Christian Eriksen and the irrepressible Son both went close as the clock ticked down and the men in white poured more resources forward. They were so close to their reward in the 90th minute as Harry Kane's header bounced agonisingly on the line after striking a post.

But it wasn't to be, and Juve retain hope of a third final in four years thanks to two devastating spells stretched across two weeks.

Manchester City (5) 1 - 1 (1) Basel
(Jesus 8' - Elyounoussi 17', Lang 71')

Pep Guardiola's men made ensured three of the four teams that qualified this week were English as a much-rotated side....

Gabriel Jesus, starting his first game after a lengthy injury layoff, put the home side up early on when he swept home a Danilo cross at the back post. City's lead wasn't to last long, Mohamed Elyounoussi's shot deflecting off John Stones to wrongfoot Claudio Bravo and put the Swiss side level.

The lack of jeopardy in the match may have effected a sluggish City, who fell behind to a sloppy goal with 20 minutes to go. Michael Land smashed home on the overlap with City's defending leaving much to be desired.

 

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