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Tottenham mounted a remarkable comeback to deservedly draw at Juventus in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.

The home side flew out of the blocks with Gonzalo Higuaín on target twice inside nine minutes. The Argentinian striker volleyed in Miralem Pjanić’s clever free-kick then converted from the spot after Ben Davies had felled Federico Bernardeschi.

But the visitors regrouped and, after Gianluigi Buffon had repelled Harry Kane’s point-blank header, the Spurs striker rounded the keeper to pull one back in the 35th minute. Higuaín hammered his second penalty of the game against the bar on the stroke of half-time following Serge Aurier’s foul on Douglas Costa and Spurs capitalised thanks to Christian Eriksen’s low free-kick 19 minutes from time to leave the tie tantalisingly poised heading to Wembley on 7 March.

When Eriksen plays well, Spurs invariably play well and the Dane was at his influential best here. In the first half, his diagonal passes in behind caused all sorts of problems for the much-vaunted Juve defence, before he won the ball in midfield in the build-up to Kane’s goal. The 25-year-old crowned a fine display with the free-kick equaliser, a memorable way to mark his first UEFA Champions League knockout appearance.

Paolo Menicucci, Juventus: Juventus had a terrific start but Tottenham managed to calm their nerves and earned a precious and deserved draw. Kane – who else? – gave them confidence with his seventh strike of this campaign while Eriksen did the rest in the second half. The Bianconeri can still travel to London with confidence considering the chances they created tonight, not to mention the return of some key players from injury.

Daniel Thacker, Tottenham: What a superb comeback from Tottenham, who seem to grow at UEFA Champions League level with each game. Two goals down inside nine minutes, the visitors’ heads could have dropped; instead they met fire with fire and – with Eriksen and Mousa Dembélé inspirational in midfield – hauled themselves back into the tie and achieved yet another statement result. With two away goals, Pochettino’s men will rightly be favourites to progress.

Key stats

  • Juventus conceded for the first time in 2018 and double the number of goals they had shipped in their previous 16 matches
  • The Bianconeri have not lost a home game in Europe since 2 October 2013
  • Kane is the first player to score nine goals in his first nine UEFA Champions League games
  • Kane equalled the record for most goals scored by an English player in a UEFA Champions League season (7), set by Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard in 2008/09
  • Eriksen struck his first UEFA Champions League goal since scoring for Ajax in a 3-1 win against Manchester City on 24 October 2012

REPORT: UEFA

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Lionel Messi ends his long wait for Chelsea goal in a close draw

Lionel Messi finally has his first goal against Chelsea in his ninth meeting with the Blues.

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Lionel Messi has ended a long wait for his first goal against Chelsea in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.

Barcelona hold the slight edge after Lionel Messi’s equaliser gave them a share of the spoils in the first leg of their round of 16 tie with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The visitors dominated possession in the first half but, one wayward Paulinho header aside, failed to muster any clear-cut chances and were fortunate to reach the interval level after Willian struck the post on two occasions.

The Brazilian fared better in the 62nd minute when he calmly found the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Chelsea looked set to take an advantage to the Camp Nou until Andrés Iniesta burst through and teed up Messi to end his goal hoodoo against the London side.

A fan favourite at Stamford Bridge, Willian was in inspired form all evening. The Brazilian rattled both posts in a dynamic first-half display and made the visitors pay for lax defending at the third time of asking, driving low past Marc-André ter Stegen from the edge of the box early in the second period. A constant outlet on the break, Willian more than justified his starting berth.

MATCH REPORT: UEFA

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Willian brace as Chelsea ease past Hull

Olivier Giroud scored his Chelsea debut goal against Hull.

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Willian brace as Chelsea ease past Hull

Chelsea are through to the Emirates FA Cup sixth round after a 4-0 win courtesy of a brace from Willian.

Former Arsenal star Olivier Giroud who signed on to Chelsea in the January transfer got the debut goal he was desperately looking as
Chelsea dominated the match courtesy of Emerson Palmieri cross into the box.

The former Arsenal frontman left the Emirates after securing a £15million transfer to Chelsea. Giroud scored with his signature flick using the momentum from the cross to beat the keeper.

The Blues took the lead after just two minutes when Willian’s curled shot from outside of the penalty area found the net.

Pedro also got on the scoresheet thanks to an assist from Cesc Fabregas to seal the game by half-time.

After the break Hull were a much improved side and were rewarded with a penalty which David Meyler failed to convert.

However Chelsea continued to dominate the pace and Willian came close to a hat-trick hitting the post late on in the match.

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Real Madrid strike late for a two goal advantage over PSG

Cristiano Ronaldo made more UEFA Champions League history as Real Madrid struck twice in the last seven minutes to take a grip on a tie that had hung firmly in the balance.

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Cristiano Ronaldo notched up his 100th and 101st UEFA Champions League goals for Real Madrid as the holders struck late to take a firm grip on this last-16 tie.

Paris Saint-Germain spent much of the evening in the ascendancy at the Bernabéu, and for 12 first-half minutes they held the lead through Adrien Rabiot. Yet right on half-time Giovani Lo Celso, one of several youngsters in the visitors’ side, was penalised for a foul on Toni Kroos and Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot.

The French side had the better of the second period but Madrid remained patient and seven minutes from time Ronaldo struck a fortuitous second. Marcelo soon rubbed salt in Paris wounds scarcely healed from their last trip to Spain 12 months ago, when Barcelona sensationally overturned a 4-0 deficit.

Madrid still have to go to France, though.

Ever a man for the big occasion. With his team on the ropes, it was Ronaldo who converted the penalty just before the break, his 100th UEFA Champions League goal for Madrid. He began on his next century late on, finding himself in the right place at the right time to force in after Alphonse Areola had pushed out Marco Asensio’s deflected cross to put his side 2-1 up. There is just something about the No7 and this competition.

Key stats

  • Ronaldo is the first player to score 100 UEFA Champions League goals for one club, reaching the landmark in his 95th game
  • Ronaldo has scored in the first seven matchdays this season – also a record
  • Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in his last 12 UEFA Champions League appearances
  • Ronaldo’s tally of 27 round of 16 appearances is three more than any other player
  • This is a record 15th round of 16 tie for Real Madrid, one more than Arsenal and, as of next week, Barcelona and Bayern
  • Paris lost 3-1 at Madrid in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1993, and won 4-1 at home

REPORT: UEFA

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