Tottenham were sent crashing out of the Champions League on Wednesday night as a spirited Juventus side came back from 1-0 to beat the Premier League outfit 2-1 at Wembley. A quickfire double from the Bianconeri's Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala sent the Italians into the quarter finals after Son Heung-min's first half opener.
The teams came into the game having faced off in a thrilling first tie in Turin. An early brace from Gonzalo Higuain handed Juventus the lead back in February, only for Spurs to claw their way back into the tie with goals from Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane.
This meant that while Spurs carried two extremely valuable away goals heading into the second leg at Wembley, everything was still to play for in the fight to earn a place in the quarter finals.
While the game started out fairly balanced – not much opening up in the way of chances and both sides seeming to feel each other out, an early chance arose for Son after only three minutes.
The South Korean received the ball on the edge of the box, dropping a shoulder to beat his man before striding into the 18-yard area and having a strong left footed effort at Gianluigi Buffon. While the shot wasn’t the toughest that the experienced keeper has ever faced, it still required a good save as the Italian parried it out and away.
After ten minutes the home side began to take the front foot. Harry Kane came very close to opening the scoring in the 15th minute after being rolled in by Dele Alli. Besting Giorgio Chiellini, the English striker rounded Buffon but couldn’t quite keep his balance to guide the ball into the net from a slight angle – hitting the side netting.
Only two minutes later Juventus saw themselves denied a penalty in what looked a questionable decision from the referee. Beating Jan Vertonghen, Juve’s Douglas Costa burst into the box – with the defender sliding helplessly to stop his opponent. Costa went down on a little contact, but Vertonghen was nowhere near the ball.
It was on 38 minutes when Tottenham took the lead. A brilliant tackle from Chiellini on Alli in the box fell to Kieran Trippier on the right of the area. The full-back fizzed the ball back across into the danger zone and it fell to no one other than Son – who had spent the first half terrorising Andrea Barzagli.
The Korean’s connection wasn’t the cleanest; but the flick caused from his effort helped to beat Chiellini (who had now recovered) and lob Buffon, who had already dived anticipating a clean strike from Son.
The second half began with Spurs continuing to sit in control of the game, and with the frustration of the Juventus players seeping into their tackles – with a lot of strong (and not necessarily fair) challenges flying in during the opening 20 minutes of the half.
Paulo Dybala was handed a good chance to level up the score line an hour in. You could’ve been forgiven for not even realising the Argentinian had been playing up until that point, having endured a very quiet game, but Davinson Sanchez’s botched clearance fell to on the volley after 60 minutes – only for him to slice it wide.
However, three minutes later Juventus were level. Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross was met by Sami Khedira in the box. The German flicked it onto the outstretched right foot of Higuain. The striker had been feeding of scraps until that point but when handed the opportunity, he did not need asking twice. Game on.
Only three minutes after levelling the score, the Italians stunned Wembley into silence when Dybala found himself one on one with Hugo Lloris. It was a simple finish from the Argentine who sent Lloris the wrong way.
Out of nowhere, Juventus had turned the game on its head, and the Turin outfit had set the game up for an intense 20 minutes.
Harry Kane wasn’t given much throughout the duration of the game, but the 89th minute saw the Spurs striker come painfully close to levelling the score. Connecting with his head from a cross at the back post, Kane’s effort bounced into the ground and struck the post, only for the Juve defence to clear away. So close, yet so far.
And that was all she wrote for the Premier League outfit. Three minutes proving the difference between the quarter finals and crashing out. Spurs bow out of the competition knowing that at the very least, they made things tough for last year’s finalists.