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Juventus 2 Bayern Munich 2: Allegri´s men peg back visitors in Turin

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Feb 2016

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Paulo Dybala and Stefano Sturaro both scored their maiden Champions League goals as Juventus recovered from a 2-0 deficit to secure a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in a see-saw first leg of their last-16 tie.

The visitors looked to be coasting to a fourth straight win over their Italian opponents when they went two goals up, Thomas Muller getting the first of them on 43 minutes when converting a cutback from Douglas Costa.

A curling strike from Arjen Robben 10 minutes after the break was no more than Bayern deserved for their dominance.

Yet Juventus produced a dramatic recovery in the final half-hour, starting with Dybala halving the deficit with a cool finish following a defensive mistake by the German side.

The comeback was complete when substitute Sturaro scored just seven minutes after coming on, the midfielder turning home fellow replacement Alvaro Morata’s header across the face of goal.

Bayern had to field David Alaba and Joshua Kimmich as an unlikely centre-back pairing due to injuries, but they worked out that the best way to keep the pressure off their makeshift defensive line was to dominate possession.

Muller should have given the visitors the lead in the 13th minute, as Robert Lewandowski teed up his colleague for a chance from six yards out that seemed easier to score than miss. 

But, after taking an initial touch of the ball, the Germany international was unable to get enough force on his poked finish as he fell backwards when losing his balance.

Gianluigi Buffon needed to get down low to his right to keep out a drive from full-back Juan Bernat, while the veteran goalkeeper was fortunate that Lewandowski’s flicked header from a deep free-kick went straight at him.

However, Bayern’s dominance eventually led to an opening goal before the break.

A deep cross from the right was volleyed back into the centre of the area by Douglas Costa, allowing Muller to make amends for his earlier miss with a side-footed finish when left all alone from 12 yards out.

Juventus were caught short of numbers in conceding a second. It seemed Lewandowski’s pass had pushed Robben too wide on the right, but he cut back onto his favoured left to bend a shot beyond Buffon.

Needing a lifeline to stay alive in the tie, Juventus were gifted a chance to halve the deficit when Kimmich failed to clear the ball just outside his own area. Mandzukic’s first-time pass slipped in Dybala, who coolly slotted home.

Juan Cuadrado had a shot beaten away by Manuel Neuer before Sturaro popped up in the box to slide in and convert Morata’s nod into the danger area.

The second leg takes place in Munich on March 16.

Key Opta stats: 

– Thomas Muller has scored four goals and delivered one assist in his last four Champions League games. Muller had already found the net against Juventus in April 2013 at home.
– Juventus had not conceded at home in the Champions League since May 2015 versus Real Madrid.
– However, the Bianconeri have shipped goals in the Champions League against Bayern Munich in their last four clashes.
– Arjen Robben scored his first Champions League goal against Juventus – he’s netted two and delivered one in his last three Champions League games.
– Juventus have always progressed after drawing the first leg at home in the knockout stages of the Champions League/European Cup (three out of three).

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