Juventus fightback denies Bayern

By BBC

Juventus produced a remarkable second-half fightback against Bayern Munich to give themselves hope going into the Champions League last 16 second leg.

The Bundesliga leaders overwhelmed their Serie A counterparts in the first half, and took the lead when Thomas Muller slotted in before Arjen Robben curled in the second.

Juve pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute when Paulo Dybala tucked home.

The comeback was complete when Stefano Sturaro poked in from close range.

Juve’s first-half humbling

At half-time, Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri must have thought “let’s keep this respectable”.

His team were pummelled in the first half. The graphic shows that they were camped in their own half by wave after wave of Bayern attacks.

Juve went into the match having conceded only once in the 11 matches they had played since the start of 2016 – however, they had yet to play a team of Bayern’s potency.

Arturo Vidal and Juan Bernat tested veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon and Muller went close, before they took the lead. It came when defender Andrea Barzagli’s clearance from Douglas Costa’s volleyed cross fell at the feet of Muller, who did the rest from 10 yards,

Bayern went again and this time it was a three-man break. Striker Robert Lewandowski appeared to send Robben too far wide with his pass into the area, but the Dutchman – in customary style – cut in and feigned to shoot before sending his effort past the reach of Buffon.

The Old Lady finds her teeth

Even the most adventurous punter would have hesitated putting money on Juve to turn this around.

The key to the change in fortunes were the substitutions. Hernanes, Sturaro and Alvaro Morata provided more energy to the attack, as Allegri experimented with his tactics.

There was a bit of luck with the first as Joshua Kimmich lost the ball 25 yards from goal. This allowed Mario Mandzukic to play in Dybala, who converted with a composed finish.

The Bayern defence was breached again when Morata’s headed pass into the six-yard area was slammed in by fellow substitute Sturaro.

Bayern are still favourites to go through because of their two away goals, but Juve’s second-half display makes this next match an intriguing prospect.

Manager reaction

Bayern manager Pep Guardiola: “Juventus made it to last year’s final, not us. We’re not dealing with a team from the provinces.

“I’m really happy with how we played. It’s one of the matches from my career that I want to remember the most.

“You cannot really expect that your opponent will not get a single chance. That’s football. Sometimes you can’t look at just the result. We played with character.”

Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri: “In the first half they pushed us hard in our own half and we just couldn’t settle. We started making a lot of mistakes with our passes and didn’t use the space well, but let’s not forget we were playing Bayern.

“After the interval we played a lot better.

“We might have even snatched the win at the end, but we will need to make sure there’s no repeat of our first half when we go to Munich.”

  

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