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Spurs hold Juve

Reuters
Thursday, February 15, 2018

TURIN - On the ropes after Gonzalo Higuain struck twice for Juventus in the opening nine minutes, Tottenham Hotspur launched a Harry Kane-led fightback to draw 2-2 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie yesterday.

When Argentina striker Higuain volleyed Juve in front after two minutes and fired home a penalty seven minutes later the hosts, runners-up in two of the last three season, appeared to have one foot already in the quarter-finals.

Tottenham were wobbling but responded to dominate for long periods and Kane halved the deficit in the 35th minute with his ninth goal in nine appearances in the competition.

The outstanding Christian Eriksen beat veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon with a free kick 20 minutes from fulltime to give Tottenham the advantage going into next month's second leg at Wembley Stadium where they have already beaten champions Real Madrid in the group phase.

Juve, who had conceded only once in their previous 16 games in all competitions, will rue Higuain's missed penalty on the stroke of halftime but could have few complaints after being shaken to the core by a vibrant Spurs side.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino even sounded disappointed his side had not gone on to end Juve's near five-year unbeaten run at home in European competition.

"The character we showed today was fantastic," he said.

"Two down against a side who are so difficult to break down and in the end we deserved to win more than to draw.

"This showed the team is more mature. The first minutes were difficult but it was amazing how we reacted."








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