Champions League: Tottenham survives Juventus

Feb. 13 (UPI) — Tottenham Hotspur managed a draw after going down 2-0 to Juventus in a Champions League matchup Tuesday at Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy.

The Old Lady stood behind Argentinian forward Gonzalo Higuain in the first half. Higuain got the scoring started in the 2nd minute of the match. He ran into the box during a set piece and finished a perfect volley into the far post netting past a diving Hugo Lorris.

Juventus’ second goal came in the 8th minute of the match. Spurs defender Ben Davies fouled Juventus forward Federico Bernardeschi on that play inside of the box.

Higuain successfully converted the resulting penalty kick when his rip deflected off of Lorris’ hand and into the netting to Lorris’ right.

Tottenham roared back later in the first half. Spurs midfielder Dele Alli sent star forward Harry Kane toward the net with a brilliant through ball in the 35th minute. Kane corralled the ball in the box and tapped it around Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon, before finishing with his left foot into an open net.

Higuain had a chance to put Juventus ahead 3-1 with a penalty kick in first half stoppage time, but his attempt drilled the crossbar and kept the score close.

The Spurs went into the half facing a 2-1 deficit, but would get the equalizer in the 71st minute.

Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen played the Spurs’ hero when he drilled a right-footed free kick through a crowd of defenders. His attempt went right past and unbalanced Buffon into the left side of the goal.

“We had a lot of chances but with the start in mind, the first nine minutes, we can be very happy with the result in the end,” Eriksen said after the match, according to Tottenham. “I don’t think Juventus minded us having the possession but we had a good balance and won the ball back quickly, and that’s what we had to do.”

Tottenham and Juventus have a rematch at 2:45 p.m. on March 7 in the second leg in the round of 16 in the Champions League. That game will be played at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

“In any football match, you can have ups and downs,” Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said, according to the Juventus website. “That is part and parcel of the game. We might have extended our lead to 3-0 or even 3-1 before half-time, but instead Tottenham staged a comeback and ended up equalizing at a point in the second period when we actually had the measure of them.”

Juventus faces Torino at 6:30 a.m. Sunday in Serie A action. Tottenham battles Rochdale at 11 a.m. Sunday in the fifth round of the FA Cup.