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Champions League: Harry Kane scores in Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 draw at Juventus

Posted February 14th, 2018, 10:41 AM IST

Champions League: Harry Kane scores in Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 draw at Juventus

Turin: At a crucial stage of its Champions League last-16 match on Tuesday, Tottenham survived against Juventus simply by standing still.

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris chose not to dive in either direction as Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain approached to strike his second penalty of the game. With no big gaps appearing, Higuain smashed the ball straight down the middle and saw it cannon off the crossbar.





A goal would have given Juventus a commanding 3-1 lead at halftime. Instead, Spurs managed to recover from a terrible start and level in the second period to finish at 2-2, ahead of the second leg at Wembley on March 7.

Lloris had dived low to his right against Higuain's successful first spot kick, getting a hand to the well-placed penalty.

Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen scored in each half after Higuain had netted twice inside the opening nine minutes

"I feel so proud," Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino said. "We showed great character against a team that played two finals in three years, with amazing experience on the pitch.

"We are a young team in this competition. To show that performance is to be proud and to congratulate the players because they were fantastic."

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri reacted strongly afterward when it was suggested his team, which is going for a seventh successive Serie A title, should have beaten Spurs, which is fifth in the Premier League.

"I think people have lost a bit of objectivity," said a clearly annoyed Allegri. "Juve plays to win but it's not favorite. You can't go to the final every year. I think the lads are having a great season, but it's a long leap from there to think they're going to win a last-16 match 3-0.

"That drives me nuts, because people don't have an idea about the other teams. I can't accept that people are getting depressed over a 2-2 draw, it seems like we lost 8-0."

It was also an exciting first half in Basel, with Manchester City scoring three goals before going on to win 4-0 to leave it with one foot in the quarterfinals.

Allegri went for an attacking lineup, with Federico Bernardeschi, Douglas Costa and Mario Mandzukic supporting Higuain. And that paid off right from the start in a terrible opening 10 minutes for Spurs.

Mousa Dembele fouled Miralem Pjanic, 30 yards (meters) from goal, inside the first minute. Pjanic himself took the free kick and picked out Higuain, who beat the offside trap to volley into the far corner.

Matters swiftly went from bad to worse for Spurs as Ben Davies tripped Bernardeschi inside the area and referee Felix Brych pointed instantly to the spot.

Higuain stepped up and placed a precise penalty into the bottom left corner for his second goal of the match and his eighth in his last five matches.

Tottenham had a mountain to climb against a side which had reached the Champions League final in two of the past three seasons. Juventus had not let in a goal in 2018 and had only conceded one in its past 16 matches.

However, with Juventus content to sit back, Spurs began to dominate possession and almost got one back in the 26th but goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon pulled off a great save to keep out Kane's header from point-blank range.

Higuain almost got his hat trick after a swift counterattack and some lovely interplay with Pjanic, but he fired narrowly wide of the left upright.

Buffon did well to tip another Kane effort round the post but Spurs were getting closer and did get back into the match 10 minutes from halftime.

Kane ran onto Dele Alli's through ball, took it round the onrushing Buffon and calmly deposited into an empty net. It was the first goal Juventus had conceded in 696 minutes

Spurs pushed for the equalizer but Juventus almost extended its lead on the stroke of halftime when Serge Aurier brought down Douglas Costa in the area. Higuain stepped up again but failed to complete his hat trick, firing onto the crossbar.

He had another good chance to grab a third, shortly before the hour, but he headed a corner straight at Lloris, who had done well to tip Bernardeschi's effort round his post moments earlier.

Juventus was made to pay for its missed opportunities as Buffon was caught out by a low Eriksen free kick into the bottom left corner.

Manchester City score 4 past Basel

Manchester City sent out another statement to the rest of Europe by thrashing Basel 4-0 away in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 match on Tuesday, with Ilkay Gundogan scoring two of the goals.

The Premier League's runaway leaders scored three times between the 14th and 23 minutes - through Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero - before Gundogan added a fourth goal from long range in the 53rd minute.

City, which enjoyed 74 percent possession, scored four goals away from home for the third time in this season's Champions League and has only lost two games in all competitions, one of them against Shakhtar Donetsk when qualification for the last 16 was already guaranteed.

This is the best chance City has had to win Europe's biggest prize, especially with one of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain sure to be eliminated this round.

City didn't even have to be at its best on a bobbly pitch and near-freezing conditions to see off the Swiss champions, whose striker Dimitri Oberlin wasted chances either side of the visitors' flurry of goals. With his team still trying to win a quadruple of trophies, Guardiola had the luxury of substituting Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling around the hour mark for fit-again pair David Silva and Leroy Sane.

The return match is on March 7, when Juventus and Tottenham will also play their second leg after drawing 2-2 in Turin on Tuesday.

St. Jakob-Park hasn't been a happy ground for English teams, with Liverpool, Chelsea and - in this season's group stage - Manchester United all losing at Basel's atmospheric home in recent seasons in the Champions League.

Basel had its moments against City, especially early on when the visitors looked susceptible to a long ball behind center backs Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi. Oberlin could also have earned a penalty, after tumbling under a challenge from Otamendi.

"After 10 minutes, we could have been 2-0 down," Guardiola said. "After 20 minutes, we were 3-0 in the lead. We were clinical today."

It was a stroll for City from the moment Gundogan, playing in front of Germany coach Joachim Loew, met a corner by De Bruyne with a header that flew in at the near post. It was De Bruyne's 19th assist of a stunning season.

Four minutes later, Sterling crossed from the left, Silva chested the ball down and sent a dipping volley beyond the goalkeeper, who could only get his fingertips to the ball.

Aguero came into the match with 13 goals from 10 games in 2018 - four coming in one half against Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday - and naturally he got involved in the scoring.

Fernandinho was tackled 30 meters out but the ball fell to Aguero, who took one touch and shot low into the corner for his 198th goal for City.

Gundogan saved the best goal for last and it was another long-ranger that curled into the top corner from 25 meters.

That margin of victory gives Guardiola the option to rest key players for the second leg at Etihad Stadium, by which time City might have won the English League Cup - it plays Arsenal in the final on Feb. 25 - extended its 16-point lead in the Premier League, and advanced to the FA Cup quarterfinals.

"If we play like we did today and in the past few weeks," Gundogan said, "we will be successful, for sure."

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