AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Juventus comes back, eliminate Spurs from Champions League

1 Comment
  • Spurs fail in bid for first quarter since 2011
  • Juve to 3rd quarterfinal in four years
  • Juve bidding for third final in four years
  • MORE: 3 things from Wembley

Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala scored quickfire second half goals to battle back past Spurs 2-1 — 4-3 on aggregate — and send The Old Lady into the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Heung-Min Son scored the lone Spurs goal to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at Wembley Stadium, but Tottenham failed in its bid to reach a first quarterfinal since 2011.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Harry Kane burst inside and past Giorgio Chiellini, then moved by Gianluigi Buffon but couldn’t cut his shot inside the goal post.

Douglas Costa was not given a penalty when Jan Vertonghen clipped his ankle in the box, perhaps because the Brazilian did not go down and instead tried to continue his dribble.

Instant replay is a beaut, but how this wasn’t called a penalty in real time we’ll probably never understand. So many refs!

Vertonghen would pick up a yellow card soon after, and the match devolved for a bit into a series of chippy incidents after (and during) hard tackles. Sandro earned one in the 35th.

Moments after Son dragged a shot wide of goal, the South Korean put Spurs ahead 1-0 and ensured Juventus would need at least two goals to win. Kieran Trippier‘s cross zipped through the 18 and Son got enough of the shot to score.

Miralem Pjanic placed a 41st minute shot wide of the near post within two minutes of the Londoners’ opener.

Chiellini saw yellow for a edgy tackle on Dele Alli two minutes before the hour mark.

Then it all fell apart for Spurs.

Juventus earned new life when Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier were watching Sami Khedira’s header and not Higuain’s move to the back post to push it past Lloris.

Within two minutes, Dybala raced past Ben Davies to catch Higuain’s pass and beat Lloris 1v1. Poor from Spurs, euphoria for The Old Lady.

Spurs pushed hard, but an emotional Juve defended with vigor. Chiellini had a fine intervention to force a corner in the 79th minute.

Any Juve’s aggrieved penalty feelings received some salve when Chiellini’s blocked shot in the 18 rebounded off his arm but went uncalled by the referee.

Then, pure anguish: Kane nodded off the ground and the post and sub Erik Lamela couldn’t get his bearing to redirect the rebound before Andrea Barzagli cleared the ball.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Juventus suffers blow with apparent Higuain injury

Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The back-and-forth battle at the top of Serie A continued on Sunday as Juventus topped Torino at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, however, the visitors suffered a big injury scare in the process.

[ MORE: Man United draws Brighton, Chelsea gets Leicester in FA Cup ]

Alex Sandro‘s winner came in the 33rd minute, but the focus of the match will leave all eyes on Gonzalo Higuain — who exited after just a quarter of an hour.

The Argentine international was looking to latch onto a through ball from Miralem Pjanic in the fifth minute, before jumping over an oncoming Salvatore Sirigu — goalkeeper for Torino.

Higuain appeared to land awkwardly on his ankle, though, and while he attempted to continue on in the match he was substituted off for Federico Bernardeschi 10 minutes later.

The extent of Higuain’s injury is unknown to this point, however, it comes at a very bad time for Juventus.

The Italian giants are heavily involved in the Serie A title race, holding a two-point lead over Napoli at the top of the table.

Additionally, Juve has important fixtures coming up in both the Coppa Italia and Champions League against Atalanta and Tottenham, respectively. Higuain and Co. are level at 2-2 with Spurs heading into their UCL second leg in early March, and Juve will surely need the striker’s presence to have a shot at advancing to the quarterfinals.

Spurs impress in comeback draw at Juventus (video)

AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
Leave a comment

A Christian Eriksen free kick gave Tottenham Hotspur a pair of away goals and a 2-2 Tuesday draw headed back to London in its UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie with Juventus.

It was an incredibly impressive result, and the performance matched: Spurs had nearly two-thirds possession and out-attempted their Italian hosts.

The second leg at Wembley is March 7.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

A wild first half saw Gonzalo Higuain score twice and be denied a hat trick on a penalty kick in stoppage time.

Higuain scored after two minutes in Turin and then scored again from the spot in the ninth minute after Ben Davies took Federico Bernardeschi down in the box.

Then Dele Alli held up the ball, and Kane danced around Buffon to make it 2-1.

That score did not look safe to make it to halftime when Serge Aurier committed a needless foul in the box. Higuain stepped up to the spot… and hammered the crossbar.

The Eriksen free kick was a rare Gianluigi Buffon error.

Dele was fouled, and Eriksen was set to try his luck. His audacious low effort worked, but Buffon will want this back.

La Liga & Serie A: Ronaldo’s brace paces Real, Juve goes top in Italy

David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Valencia 1-4 Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace gave Los Blancos a 2-0 advantage heading into halftime, while two late goals for Zinedine Zidane’s group saw Real pull within two points of third place in La Liga. Zidane’s group rebounded well after being knocked out of the Copa del Rey midweek against Leganes. Meanwhile, in Madrid’s last two league matches, Ronaldo and Co. have managed to score 11 goals.

Villareal 4-2 Real Sociedad

A five-goal first half was more than enough excitement in this one, however, it was hosts Villareal that were having most of the fun at the Estadio de la Cerámica. The Yellow Submarine carried a 4-1 lead into the halftime break after Víctor Ruiz, Pablo Fornals, Carlos Bacca and Samu Castillejo each found the back of the net. Diego Llorente and Willian Jose both pulled goals back for Sociedad, however, the damage had already been done by Villareal — who moved five points clear of Sevilla for fifth place in Spain’s top flight.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Deportivo 2-2 Levante
Malaga 0-0 Girona

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Leganes vs. Espanyol (6 a.m. ET)
Atletico Madrid vs. Las Palmas (10:15 a.m. ET)
Sevilla vs. Getafe (12:30 p.m. ET)
Barcelona vs. Alaves (2:45 p.m. ET)


Chievo Verona 0-2 Juventus

Two red cards proved to be the extra boost that Juventus needed on Saturday to get past Chievo Verona. Samuel Bastien and Fabrizio Cacciatore were each sent off in the opening hour for the hosts, leaving Chievo tend fend for themselves with only nine men during the final 30 minutes. And that’s when Juve would take advantage. Goals from Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain brought Juve into first place, with the Turin club holding a two-point lead over second-place Napoli — who holds a match in hand.

Sassuolo 0-3 Atalanta

Andrea Masiello’s pinpoint header in the 30th minute kicked off the scoring for Atalanta — who moved into seventh place on Saturday. Meanwhile, Bryan Cristante and Remo Freuler each scored in the final 10 minutes to help cement all three points for the visitors. Sassuolo currently sits in 14th place through 22 matches, six points above the relegation zone.

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

SPAL vs. Inter Milan (6:30 a.m. ET)
Crotone vs. Cagliari (9 a.m. ET)
Fiorentina vs. Hellas Verona (9 a.m. ET)
Genoa vs. Udinese (9 a.m. ET)
Napoli vs. Bologna (9 a.m. ET)
Torino vs. Benevento (9 a.m. ET)
AC Milan vs. Lazio (12 p.m. ET)
Roma vs. Sampdoria (2:45 p.m. ET)

Serie A: Juventus come back after major scare from Benevento

Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP
Leave a comment

MILAN (AP) Last-place Benevento threatened a major shock in Turin before Juventus eventually fought back to win 2-1 Sunday and close the gap on leader Napoli in Serie A.

Benevento had not picked up a single point in its previous 11 league games – the worst start in the division’s history — but took a surprise lead through Amato Ciciretti in the 19th minute.

That lead lasted nearly 40 minutes before Gonzalo Higuain leveled. Juan Cuadrado scored what was to prove the winner in the 65th.

“We went behind with the only shot we allowed our opponents, but we kept our heads. It seemed like a cursed match, the ball didn’t want to go in, but we managed to turn it around,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.

“The season is long, we have to maintain the speed of a cruise ship because too many ups and downs are not positive. It will be a battle right until the final day.”

Juventus moved into second spot, a point behind Napoli, which was held 0-0 at Chievo Verona.

Inter slipped to third, two points behind Napoli, after drawing 1-1 at home to Torino.

Lazio was four points behind Napoli after its home match against Udinese was postponed because of heavy rain in the Italian capital.

Juventus was expected to sweep aside bottom Benevento and celebrate this week’s 120th anniversary of the club’s foundation.

The hosts hit the woodwork twice early but Benevento, which had scored just four goals all season, took the lead when Ciciretti curled a stunning free kick around the wall and into the bottom left corner.

Juventus wasted several chances before eventually finding the equalizer in the 57th. Blaise Matuidi headed Mattia De Sciglio’s cross back to Higuain, who volleyed into the top right corner.

And the Bianconeri turned the match around completely eight minutes later when Cuadrado met Alex Sandro‘s cross from the left with a downward header at the far post.


Napoli dropped points for only the second time this season, unable to find a way past a solid Chievo team in a 0-0 stalemate.

Maurizio Sarri’s team was eager to bounce back from Wednesday’s 4-2 defeat to Manchester City and almost certain Champions League elimination.

Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina was out with a back injury, with Luigi Sepe making his first Serie A appearance for the club since 2009.

Sepe was almost embarrassed on the hour mark when Ivan Radovanovic spotted him off his line and tried his luck from 60 yards out, but the goalkeeper scrambled back to reach the ball from under the bar.


Inter had to come from behind to draw 1-1 against Torino and maintain its unbeaten start to the season.

More than 70,000 fans were at San Siro for the lunchtime match.

But they were left stunned when Iago Falque gave Torino the lead on the hour mark, surging between two defenders before blasting the ball into the near bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Joel Obi missed a great chance to double Torino’s lead before substitute Eder fired in the equalizer when Mauro Icardi headed down Ivan Perisic’s cross to the Italy forward.

Inter almost won the match two minutes from time but Matias Vecino’s effort from distance crashed off the crossbar.


Roma set a Serie A record with its 12th consecutive away victory as it won 4-2 at Fiorentina, thanks to two first-half goals from Gerson – his first for the club.

Alessio Romagnoli’s header and a wonderful curler from Suso saw AC Milan win 2-0 at Sassulo, while Spal drew 1-1 at 10-man Atalanta.

Elsewhere, Cagliari beat relegation-threatened Hellas Verona 2-1 to move six points above the drop zone.