Sturaro rescues Juve in dramatic Bayern draw

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Juventus’ Italian midfielder Stefano Sturaro (left) kicks the ball to score next to Bayern Munich’s German midfielder Joshua Kimmich during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match between Juventus and Bayern Munich at the Juventus Stadium in Turin on Wednesday. AFP PHOTO

Juventus’ Italian midfielder Stefano Sturaro (left) kicks the ball to score next to Bayern Munich’s German midfielder Joshua Kimmich during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match between Juventus and Bayern Munich at the Juventus Stadium in Turin on Wednesday. AFP PHOTO

TURIN, Italy: Super-sub Stefano Sturaro came off the bench to hit a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich as outclassed Juventus rescued their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).

Bayern dominated throughout a one-sided encounter at a packed Juventus Stadium and took a 43rd-minute lead through Thomas Mueller.

Arjen Robben doubled the Germans’ advantage on 55 minutes but the 2013 champions paid for a series of earlier misses when Paulo Dybala netted on the hour and Sturaro hit a dramatic leveler 14 minutes from time.

It leaves the tie still very much alive, although on this performance Pep Guardiola’s men will be favorites to secure their last-eight place after the second leg in three weeks’ time.


Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri could not say the same, admitting his side had been error-strewn in the opening half.

“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,” said the Italian.

“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.”

Injuries to Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber forced Guardiola into naming a makeshift defence with Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba filling in at centre-back.

But Bayern traveled to Turin as the only foreign team to have beaten Juve at home in the past decade, and it was quickly apparent the lack of a solid center-half pairing would not be felt.

Juve’s fans watched with silent awe as Bayern squatted in the home side’s half, kept possession and limited any Juve forays past the center circle.

On their way to being denied a penalty when the ball came off Arturo Vidal’s arm from Paul Pogba, the chances from there on were few and far between for the Serie A leaders.

Former Juve midfielder Vidal threatened with a crisp volley from the edge of the area that forced Gianluigi Buffon into a two-handed punch.

AFP

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