Stunning comeback gives Spurs the edge

It looked bleak for Tottenham Hotspur when Juventus opened up an early two-goal lead, but the Premier League side fought back to earn a draw in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg tie.

 

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Tottenham Hotspur came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Juventus in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg clash in Turin, recovering from a disastrous start to sit in a position of dominance ahead of the return leg.

An early double from Gonzalo Higuain appeared to have set the Serie A champion up for a comfortable victory, before Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen gave Spurs a slight advantage to take back to Wembley with two away goals.

Juve, unbeaten at home in the competition since losing to Bayern Munich in April 2013, took the lead inside the first two minutes through a fine volley from Higuain, although he was perhaps lucky not to be penalised for offside.

The Argentina striker made it 2-0 in the ninth minute from the penalty spot, but Spurs, buoyed by its weekend win over fierce rival Arsenal, began to take control from then on and Kane's 33rd goal of the season, the first conceded by Gianluigi Buffon in 694 minutes for club and country, gave Spurs a lifeline.

Higuain missed a second penalty before the break during an uncharacteristically nervous performance from Massimiliano Allegri's side, and Spurs secured a fine result 19 minutes from time, when Eriksen wrong-footed Buffon with a free-kick.

The result ends Juve's 11-game winning run in all competitions and leaves it facing a sizeable task if it is to keep its quest alive for a third final appearance in four years.

Juve's lightning start saw it take the lead with their fastest goal in a UEFA Champions League match since Alessandro Del Piero scored against Manchester United in 1997 inside 30 seconds.

Miralem Pjanic won a free-kick against Mousa Dembele and clipped the ball cleverly into the path of Higuain, who watched the ball drop over his shoulder before volleying across Hugo Lloris's goal and into the bottom-left corner.

Matters got worse for Spurs just six minutes later. Ben Davies felled Federico Bernardeschi inside the penalty area and Higuain swept low past Lloris from the spot, despite the France keeper again getting a glove to the ball.

Kane felt aggrieved not to win a spot-kick of his own after going down under pressure from Medhi Benatia, and the England striker wasted a glorious chance to get a goal back 26 minutes in, heading straight at Buffon from point-blank range.

But Kane gave the visitors hope with 35 minutes played, racing onto Dele Alli's pass before beating the onrushing Buffon and firing home.

Spurs were in the ascendancy, but Juve spurned the chance to make it 3-1 seconds before half-time, when Higuain blasted his second penalty of the game off the crossbar after Serge Aurier had brought down Douglas Costa.

The second half was a much more balanced and less open affair, with Juve coming closest to the critical fourth goal in the tie when Bernardeschi's drive was tipped past the post by Lloris.

Mauricio Pochettino's side was still the more composed of the two teams, though, and it got the second goal its performance deserved with 71 minutes played, as Eriksen fizzed a free-kick into the bottom-left corner past the uncertain Buffon, setting up a tantalising second leg on 8 March (AEDT).