Gonzalo Higuain and Juventus can't maintain early momentum vs. Spurs

Gonzalo Higuain and Juventus can't maintain early momentum vs. Spurs
From ESPN - February 13, 2018

Juventus were supposed to boast an impenetrable defence, but conceded two goals Tuesday to Tottenham Hotspur to draw 2-2 in Turin in the Champions League round-of-16 first leg.

Starting the match in sensational fashion, Juventus came out with a clear desire to score and play football. Passing the ball fluidly and quickly, the home side were 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes of the match. Having seemingly taken control, the Italian side then proceeded to drop back and defend, inviting Spurs to grow in confidence and control the midfield, pushing Juve deeper and deeper.

Dominating play and possession, the Premier League side found a goal, but Juve still had their chances, squandering a fine opportunity on the counter, while a second penalty was missed.

Juve got tighter in the second half and Spurs had less time on the ball, but a rare Gianluigi Buffon error ensured another goal for the away side, complicating matters for the Bianconeri, who need to do a lot better in the second leg if they want to keep hope alive to advance to a third final in four years.


The first 10 minutes, when Juve scored twice and looked offensively courageous and fluid in their movement and passing.


So many negatives, starting with how quickly Juve ceded control of the match once they went 2-0 up. They fell too deep, while the midfield was simply bullied by the opponent. Sami Khedira was woeful, and the presence of Blaise Matuidi was hugely missed.

Manager rating out of 10

6 -- Massimiliano Allegri chose the 4-2-3-1 formation hoping to secure offensive brilliance, and Juve were brilliant in the first 10 minutes. Sadly, they fell too deep and that's not Allegri's fault, but adjustments should have been made more quickly to ensure more control in the midfield. The London derby win on Saturday against Arsenal demonstrated how well Spurs can control that area of the pitch.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Gianluigi Buffon, 6 -- Two excellent interventions to stop Harry Kane meriting an extra point, but Buffon was hugely disappointing on Christian Eriksen's goal from the free kick. We expect so much more from the legend.

DF Mattia De Sciglio, 6 -- A little more composed than the rest. Tried to contain as much as possible and tried to deliver some good balls forward.

DF Mehdi Benatia, 5 -- Not one of his better games even if he was decisive in certain moments, making important interceptions and blocks, but his marking was poor on the night.


Continue reading at ESPN »