Spurs fight back to save the draw

Evening Times - - SPORT - By GIANNI RUSSO

TOT­TEN­HAM’S Cham­pi­ons League knock­out round first leg in Turin got off to the worst pos­si­ble start as Gon­zalo Higuain scored twice for Ju­ven­tus in­side the open­ing 10 min­utes.

The Ar­gentina in­ter­na­tional broke the dead­lock with a clin­i­cal fin­ish after just two min­utes.

The same player then con­verted a penalty after Ben Davies had brought down Fed­erico Bernarde­schi in the area in the ninth minute.

Harry Kane rounded goal­keeper Gian­luigi Buf­fon to get Spurs back into the game in the 35th minute, but Higuain had the chance to com­plete a first-half hat-trick in the clos­ing mo­ments.

Serge Aurier brought down Dou­glas Costa in the box but this time the striker spurned the op­por­tu­nity, crash­ing his spot-kick against the cross­bar.

A driven free-kick from Chris­tian Eriksen made it 2-2 with 18 min­utes re­main­ing and leaves Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s men in a strong po­si­tion go­ing into the sec­ond leg at Wem­b­ley.

Goalscorer Kane felt the comeback showed “the char­ac­ter of the squad”.

He added on BT Sport: “It was an excellent per­for­mance after that [con­ced­ing the two goals] and we de­served to get back into the game. We look back now, two away goals we’re tak­ing to Wem­b­ley, it’s a great re­sult.

“I had a chance be­fore it [his goal] and I should have scored that, but like I al­ways say, you’ve got to be ready for the next one.

“Dele [Alli] put a great ball in and I man­aged to fin­ish it off. That got us back into the game, which was im­por­tant.”

Man­ager Po­chet­tino was dis­ap­pointed with a slug­gish start but could not fault his side’s re­sponse.

“We started too sloppy and con­ceded two goals in nine min­utes, but the char­ac­ter we showed to­day was fan­tas­tic,” he said. “I think we de­served the victory.”

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