Brave fight­back

Kane, Erik­sen strike to spoil Higuain show

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

Kane and Erik­sen com­bine to ruin Juve party plans

TURIN: Harry Kane and Chris­tian Erik­sen pulled Tot­ten­ham back from the brink to hold Ju­ven­tus 2-2 in Turin, spoil­ing what had looked set to be a Gon­zalo Higuain one-man show in the Cham­pi­ons League last 16, first leg in Turin on Tues­day.

Higuain had put Ju­ven­tus — los­ing fi­nal­ists twice in the past three sea­sons — two goals up within the first nine min­utes at the Al­lianz Sta­dium.

The Ar­gen­tine’s light­ning strike af­ter just 73 sec­onds was fol­lowed by a sec­ond from the spot to leave Mauricio Pochettino’s English side reel­ing.

But the 30-year-old missed two fur­ther chances to ham­mer home Ju­ven­tus’s ad­van­tage in the first half, with strik­ing the cross­bar with a sec­ond penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Kane had pulled Tot­ten­ham back into the tie, beat­ing vet­eran keeper Gian­luigi Buf­fon on 35 min­utes with Erik­sen whip­ping in the sec­ond with a 70th-minute free-kick to leave it all to play for in Lon­don next month.

“The team showed real char­ac­ter to come here and chal­lenge a team like Ju­ven­tus,” said Pochettino who blamed the in­ex­pe­ri­ence of his side for their slug­gish start.

“I think we weren’t fo­cused and it was dif­fi­cult to man­age the first seven min­utes. I’m very happy that it’s still open and we’re go­ing to play the sec­ond leg in Lon­don.”

Ju­ven­tus coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri warned they would be ready to chal­lenge again for a place in the quar­ter-fi­nals af­ter ex­tend­ing their un­beaten run at home in Cham­pi­ons League fix­tures to 23 games.

“I don’t think there is any need to be depressed. If some­one thought that Ju­ven­tus could win 4-0 they were way off,” said Al­le­gri. “Tot­ten­ham had a great game and turned things around.

“Af­ter go­ing 2-0 up we stopped play­ing, but part of that was also down to Tot­ten­ham’s per­for­mance. They are a very phys­i­cal and tech­ni­cal team.”

Pochettino’s side looked down and out af­ter the first 10 min­utes with Mi­ralem Pjanic lift­ing a free-kick into the penalty area and an un­marked Higuain vol­ley­ing past Hugo Lloris, de­spite be­ing in an off­side po­si­tion.

Higuain’s sec­ond came from a penalty af­ter Ben Davies fouled Fed­erico Bernarde­schi, with Lloris div­ing the right way but un­able to stop the pow­er­ful drive.

Higuain al­most had a hat-trick, pick­ing up a Pjanic pass to out­fox two Spurs de­fend­ers only to shoot just wide.

Buf­fon twice saved from Kane, in­clud­ing a header from point-blank range, be­fore the striker fi­nally broke through.

Spurs be­gan to take con­trol, only for Serge Aurier to con­cede an­other spot­kick by hack­ing down Dou­glas Costa, but Higuain was de­nied a tre­ble by the cross­bar.

Kane pulled Spurs back from the brink, latch­ing onto a Dele Alli pass to round a help­less Buf­fon who had ad­vanced off his line, mak­ing no mis­take in front of goal.

It was 24-year-old Kane’s sev­enth goal in Europe’s top club com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son and puts him level with Steven Ger­rard for the most scored by an English player in a sin­gle Cham­pi­ons League cam­paign.

Kane was de­lighted to take two valu­able away goals into the sec­ond leg at Wem­b­ley, mean­ing Ju­ven­tus have to outscore Spurs to win.

Asked if he feared his side were about to sink with­out trace af­ter Higuain’s dou­ble strike, Kane told BT Sport: “We could have done, away from home in the Cham­pi­ons League. It showed char­ac­ter.

“It was an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance af­ter that and we take two away goals to Wem­b­ley. Great re­sult.”

Dane Erik­sen got the sec­ond from a free-kick af­ter cen­tre-back Gior­gio Chiellini fouled Alli, send­ing it low past a wrong­footed Buf­fon.

“We are sure we will have chances at Wem­b­ley,” said Erik­sen. “We go into that game full of con­fi­dence and we’re look­ing for­ward to it.”

Jan Ver­tonghen did well to pre­vent a late Higuain win­ner when he slid to in­ter­cept a Costa cross to pre­vent the Ar­gen­tine tap­ping in.


Tot­ten­ham’s Chris­tian Erik­sen cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing the equaliser against Ju­ven­tus in the Cham­pi­ons League in Turin.

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