COMPETITION Champions League   Round of 16  First leg
DATE Tuesday 13th February 2018
VENUE Allianz Stadium
2.  Mattia de SCIGLIO
3.  Giorgio CHIELLINI
4.  Medhi BENATIA
5.  Miralem PJANIC
6.  Sami KHEDIRA
8.  Claudio MACHISIO
9.  Gonzalo HIGUAIN
10.  Paulo DYBALA
11.  Douglas COSTA
12.  Alex SANDRO
14.  Blaise MATUIDI
15.  Andrea BARZAGLI
16.  Carlo PINSOGLIO
17.  Mario MANZUKIC
21.  Benedikt HOWEDES
22.  Kwadwo ASAMOAH
23.  Wojciech SZCZESNY
24.  Daniele RUGANI
27.  Stefano STURARO
30.  Rodrigo BENTANCUR
33.  Federico BERNARDESCHI
-.  Leandro FERNANDES
-.  Pietro BERUATTO
-.  Grigoris KASTANOS
PREVIEW Tottenham travel to Turin off the back of a three match unbeaten run of three games against fellow challengers for a finishing Champions League place.  While not quite the same as 22 home Champions League matches unbeaten, it will be an interesting showdown between the leaders of the Italian league and the fifth placed team in the Premier League. 

Will it be a stereotypical defensive performance from the Italian club or will Tottenham's flowing attacking football take the upper hand ?  Will Juve's confidence show through or can Tottenham carry their good form from the Premier League into the match ? In recent times gone by, Spurs would have travelled with only the faintest hope, but such as been the progress under Pochettino that a result in the Allianz Stadium is not beyond the realm of reality.

Having four main players missing, the home team will be hampered, but with players such as Buffon, Chiellini, Higuain and Pjanic, there is more than enough talent in the ranks of the Old Lady's squad to give anyone a good game.  Unfortunately for them that good game didn't come in last season's final, as they succumbed to Real Madrid.  Sami Khedira can still control the midfield, but his legs might not carry him as quickly as his younger days, but someone whose legs do is Douglas Costa, the Bayern Munich winger on loan at Juventus.  Medhi Benatia and Alex Sandro are much sought after defenders, who are happy at Juve and up front Mario Mandzukic is till capable of scoring great goals , as he did in the final of this competition last season.

Tottenham are used to having the majority of the ball in matches, but here, they may have to make do with under 50% and make the most of the ball that they get.  The home team might no be used to the high press, but have players to hit with an out ball, but they might not be used to being pressed for long periods of the game, as Spurs have shown their stamina to do so.   We showed the patience needed in Saturday's game against Arsenal, who came to stultify and ended up nearly being on the end of a big beating, but also nearly snatched an undeserved point at the end. 

Spurs will have to be wary of the same in this game..

PREDICTION Juventus    1        Tottenham Hotspur    1
Paolo Dybala will not be risked in the first leg of the tie, while Juve will still be without Juan Cuadrado, Andrea Barzagli and Blaise Matuidi too. 
Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) will not be risked on Tottenham's trip tno Turin, but other than that, Mauricio Pochettino has a full squad to choose from.

BT Sport 2 - (live coverage)
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Juventus  2 (2)  

Champions League  Round of 16  First leg
Tuesday 13th February 2018
Allianz Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur  2 (1)

Kick off 19:45  (UK Time)
Higuain  1m 13s
Higuain (p)  8m 00s
Kane  34m 27s
Eriksen  71m 00s
Benatia  (foul on Kane)  45 
Higuain  (dissent)  60
Bentacur  (foul on Davies)  80


Davies 8  (foul on Bernardeschi)  8



Crowd :   41,232 Weather :  Chilly
Referee :  Felix Brych (GER) Assistant Referees :  Mark Borsch (GER); Stefan Lupp (GER)
Fourth Official :  Markus Hacker (GER) Additional Assistant Referees :  Bastian Dankert (GER); Marco Fritz (GER)
UEFA Delegate :  Balazs Makray (HUN) UEFA Referee Observer :  Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)
Juventus kicked off in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 5 minutes.
Juventus : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Gianluigi BUFFON  (c)

  2  Mattia de SCIGOLIO
  3  Giorgio CHIELLINI
  Medhi BENATIA     
12  Alex SANDRO

  6  Sami KHEDIRA  (30  Rodrigo BENTACUR  66)
  5  Miralem PJANIC

17  Mario MANDZUKIC  (27  Stefano STURARO  76)
  9  Gonzalo HIGUAIN    (p)     
  Douglas COSTA  (22  Kwadwo ASAMOAH  90+2)

Unused subs: 
23  Wojech SZCZESNY
24  Daniel RUGIANI
37  Simone MURATORE


    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

24  Serge AURIER     
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
33  Ben DAVIES     

19  Mousa DEMBELE
15  Eric DIER

11  Erik LAMELA  (25  Lucas MOURA  89)
23  Christian ERIKSEN    (12  Victor WANYAMA  90+2)
20  DELE Alli  (  7  Heung-Min SON  83)

10  Harry KANE 

Unused subs: 
  2  Kieran TRIPPIER

  3  Danny ROSE
17  Moussa SISSOKO

Manager :  Massimilliano Allegri Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Jeep Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  adidas Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

A pulsating match saw Tottenham turn the tables on Juventus, who took an early two goal lead, but dropped into typical Italian defensive mode, allowing Spurs not only to dominate possession, but also the play and draw level and possibly could have gone on to win the game.  The draw sets up the return leg on a knife-edge, but one team will have taken more from this match and it wasn't Juve.

The tifosi had been out early laying out the plastic flags to make pretty patterns around the home fans sections, that all came out when the Champions League anthem was played, but the Spurs fans made themselves heard though in the numerical minority.

But with Tottenham, you know nothing will be done the easy way.  Just 1 minute 13 seconds into the game, they fell behind.   A free kick was conceded by Dembele 30 yards out, after a couple of weak clearances and Pjanic got up to take it.  He was more alert than the Spurs defence and  dinked the ball down the right channel for Higuain to volley across Lloris from just inside the area to find the bottom corner of the net. Hugo got a hand to it, but not enough to keep it out and it was a soft goal defensively to concede.

With seven minutes on the clock, a deflected cross saw Davies go for the ball, but Bernardeschi came towards the ball from behind him and was brought down. Higuain took the penalty and just squeezed it inside Lloris' right hand post, with a hand laid on it again, but not sufficient to stop it. 2-0 down before the game had really got going and things didn't look good for Spurs. In fact, it was looking like that Bale match against Inter Milan in this competition.

Spurs started putting some passes together, but Juve soon got ten outfield men behind the ball to pack the width of the penalty area and Spurs began closing down the home team higher up the pitch, but when Juventus did it to Spurs, we failed to move off the man on the ball to make an angle for him.  Kane went down under challenge from Benatia but the German ref did not give a penalty on this occasion, even though it was an untidy effort by the Moroccan. Tottenham almost broke when Dele ran past Chiellini but his pass intended for Kane was cut out.  A diagonal ball across to Ben Davies saw the Welshman volley a first time cross, which caused some panic in the Juventus box and on 25 minutes, Spurs had a great chance, when Eriksen floated a cross beyond the back line for Kane to have a clear header at goal, but he headed it straight at Buffon, who blocked it.  It was a little like his goal against Arsenal on Saturday, although a bit closer in.

Lamela was fouled 25 yards out on the left corner of the area and Christian's dead ball was easily cleared but it went back to him and his 20 yard drive swerved away from Buffon's left hand post. Just before the half hour, Spurs might have had a goal, with Dembele picking a pass through to Dele, who was tackled by de Sciglio just as he was about to shoot. Then, the ball was moved upfield and Higuain and Pjanic swapped passes, before the Argentinian cut to his left and powered a low shot that flew just outside the post. From what could have been 2-1 was nearly 3-0.  Another chance for Harry in the box saw him drag it across goal with his left foot, with Buffon making sure the ball went wide with a dive to his left. Juventus were a little loose in possession and Spurs were making inroads into their box.

A scruffy bit of passing from both sides ended with Spurs getting the ball and Dele passing forward to Kane in the 35th minute.  As the home defence stepped up, he ran past them and rounded Buffon to put the ball into an empty net from the left of the goal with a neat left foot finish. It ruined Buffon's chance of a 50th clean sheet in the Champions League, but the goal had been coming, as Juve sat deep and conceded possession too readily. With so many men behind the ball, any out ball went straight to a purple shirt and it was starting to get the crowd on Juventus' back.

A free-kick 40 yards out was taken short and Christian drilled an effort at goal from 35 yards out that Buffon had to beat out, unconvincingly. Four minutes before the break, some good passing and a neat run by Eriksen picked out a cross for Dele, who got his head to it, but couldn't get power behind it, looping it up in the air for it to land on the roof of the net.  Eriksen master-minded a neat short passing move that got Aurier into space, but his cross was blocked and when Lamela played the corner in, Kane had a free-kick given against him despite his shirt being pulled off him. Benatia went through the back of Harry in the air and was booked, then a number of Juventus players were half-heartedly going into tackles - it was a mish-mash of a performance.  But right on half-time, Aurier dived into a tackle on Douglas Costa and a penalty was given. Higuain stepped up again and this time his shot hit the bar right down the middle of the goal and the ball bounced away with the referee whistling for the end of the first half before the ball landed.

Aurier picked up an early yellow in the second half for a needless foul on Alex Sandro just over halfway and that ruled him out of the second leg. Ironically, Costa, who clattered into Kane when Dele was away on the left earned just a free-kick and it was worse than Aurier's challenge.  Both team's players slipped on the pitch when they looked to set up attacks, all the while Mandzukic was on the floor with a groin injury. When Dier and Sanchez left the ball for each other just inside their own half, Sanchez's header went to Pjanic and he looked for Higuain early, but the ball was won by Spurs, when it looked like the home team might be in for a goal-scoring opportunity.

Spurs were enjoying possession and were pulling the striped shirts around, by recycling the ball, going back to move it forward again.  Against the run of play, the ball was played right to Bernardeschi to come in on his left foot and his shot just inside the box was tipped around the post by Lloris, Hugo was in the right place again when the corner found Mandzukic free six yards out and the header went straight into his hands.  Tottenham were playing a lot of the time in Juventus' defensive third, but a break by Higuain was stopped by a fine tackle by Jan, but the striker didn't like it and ended up getting booked for dissent.  Our defenders were switched off when a throw-in was taken and Sanchez had to concede a corner.  Luckily, this time it was over-hit, Juve were starting to lose their discipline, with dissent and players taking Tottenham men out without going for the ball.  With so much work being put in by the home players, you wondered if they would have to make substitutions to keep going for the 90 minutes. Spurs seemed to be finding passes into pockets of space where runs were being made, perhaps forcing Allegri to make his first change of Khedira going off for Betancort - a midfielder off for a defender, who went into midfield !!

A flurry of free-kicks being given by the referee interrupted the flow of the game.  One by Pjanic, swung in towards the goal, was unchallenged and Hugo took the ball high above his head as it bounced off the turf. One Spurs should have had was when Benatia went through Kane from behind and the referee didn't even give a free-kick, bottling the difficult decision against a home player already on a yellow card.  Kane almost caught Buffon out at his near post with a low shot in the 70th minute that the keeper let bounce away off his chest, just before Lamela played a ball into Dele's feet on the edge of the D and he touched it off before Chiellini blocked him off for another free-kick. Eriksen lined it up and with the ball dead centre, Buffon thought the Dane was going over the wall, but he fired it low to the keeper's right and the ball hit the bottom corner of the net right on 71 minutes.  It was a superbly placed shot that was more than well deserved by Tottenham, who were managing the game without allowing the home team get after them.

Juve looked to play long, with the ball coming back, as Spurs were three against one at the back, but when Dier's pass was intercepted on the halfway line, the break came to Bernardeschi, who came inside to hit a shot that flicked off Dier and Lloris was fortunate, as his fall on the goal-line was where the ball ended up going and he was safely behind it.  Juve started to move the ball forward better in the last ten minutes and won a couple of corners, the second of which Benatia attacked and headed high over the bar.  Tottenham were not using the ball as well now, with long passes not finding a man. It gave Costa the chance to attack Aurier and put a low ball in with Higuain coming in, but Vertonghen slid in to knock the ball off for a corner, just wide of the goal.

Pochettino brought Moura on for Lamela, who had given his all, so he had a few minutes to show what he was about. We settled down a bit and began knocking the ball about once more.  Our new 25 million man had a little dart at the Juve defence, but couldn't find a pass through to Kane.  When the German ref blew the final whistle, it was only the Tottenham section that could be heard, with the team having scored twice against a side, who are as tight at the back as any team in the country of clean sheets.  Juve hadn't previously let a goal in this year,

This season, Tottenham have shown how they have learned lessons from last season in the Champions League, Pochettino has produced tactics that are matching the best on the continent now and the players are so confident in their own ability, even going two down in the first ten minutes didn't phase them. In some ways this was a better result than the one against Maicon's Inter. Not just because we didn't lose, but the way we bossed the game.  There were a couple of performances that left a little to be desired, but the majority of players put in big performances, making the result a reality and the return at Wembley will be like a knock-out match. Four games that would shape our season and four games unbeaten. Four games we have mostly controlled and there is not just a maturity, but a supreme belief in what they are doing. Poch has given them the game plan and the belief to keep going, playing their own game and reducing a side like Juventus to a ragged side, who looked to pump the ball forward like Wimbledon.

How will Spurs approach the second leg ?  Well, much the same as the first, but without letting two goals in at the start of the match.  How will Juventus approach the second leg ?   They have to come out and play a bit, as with two away goals, Spurs have an advantage, but Allegri will no doubt try and lay a cannier trap for Tottenham.  His only problem is an ever lengthening injury list, making selection a bit of a problem.

But to the Spurs the plaudits.  City might have won 4-0 away to Basel, but I think this is a much more impressive performance.  If we can replicate it in the second leg, Kane's vision of him lifting the trophy gets a step nearer.

Steve Greenaway


Harry Kane equalled Steven Gerrard's record for en English player in the Champions League of 7 goals in one season.

Kane's nine goals in nine games is more than any player has scored before in the competition after the same number of games.

Tottenham are the first team to overturn a two goal deficit since Juventus moved into their new stadium in 2011.




Juventus were the first foreign team to play an English team and were so impressed with Notts. County's play that they stole their kit from the dressing room after the game.  Thus in their home country they are known as Gazza (the translation for Magpie - the thieving bird).


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What you thought
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Other scores in this round :
Basel (SWI) 0 Manchester City 4 Tuesday
Barcelona  (SPA) - - - -day
Besiktas  (TUR) - - - -day
Bayern Munich  (GER) - - - -day
Chelsea - - - -day
FC Porto  (POR) - - - -day
Paris Saint Germain  (FRA) - - - -day
Liverpool - - - -day
Real Madrid  (SPA) - - - -day
AS Roma  (ITA) - - - -day
Sevilla  (SPA) - - - -day
Shakhtar Donetsk  (UKR) - - - -day


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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