Gonzalo Higuaín managed to capture almost his entire career in 45 minutes as Juventus were held to a 2-2 draw against Tottenham in their Champions League last 16 first leg. The elite goal scorer and the player not to be trusted in the clutch moments; both camps in the never-ending Higuaín debate were provided with ammunition during an action-packed first half.
With six goals in the four games prior to Spurs’ visit to Turin, Higuaín has been in terrific form and it took less than two minutes to demonstrate this. Tottenham’s sleepy defence allowed Miralem Pjanic to clip a free-kick into the penalty area and an unmarked Higuaín produced a superb volley to beat Hugo Lloris.
Things got worse for Mauricio Pochettino’s side when Ben Davies brought down Federico Bernadeschi allowing Higuaín to make it two from the spot after nine minutes.
However, Tottenham reacted admirably and from this point dominated the tie. Harry Kane pulled a goal back with Juve rocked and then the Higuaín critics got their moment.
A second penalty just before the break presented the Argentinian with a chance to complete his hat-trick and snuff out Tottenham’s resistance but with the pressure on Higuaín smashed his effort against the crossbar.
Cristian Erikson’s second free-kick earned Spurs a draw and the Premier League club are now perhaps slight favourites to progress. With eight goals in five, Higuaín will always be a natural source of goals but the question marks over his ability to produce at the vital moment will forever hang over him.
Meanwhile in Switzerland, Manchester City virtually booked their place in the quarter final with a 4-0 win over Basel.
Ilkay Gündogan headed City in front after quarter of an hour and when Bernardo Silva volleyed a second and Sergio Agüero drilled in a third with 23 minutes on the clock, the tie already looked over.
4 – Sergio Aguero has scored in all four of his Champions League away appearances so far this season for Manchester City – Dwight Yorke is the only other player to do this for an English side in the competition (for Man Utd in 1998/99). Trip.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 13, 2018