Fans have taken to social media this evening to take aim at legendary Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, after the Italian’s poor piece of goalkeeping allowed Christian Eriksen to notch an equaliser for Tottenham during the clash between the sides.
The return of the Champions League this week and next will see some mouthwatering fixtures played out, with Juventus’ clash with English outfit Tottenham garnering plenty of attention around Europe.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs looked extremely impressive on their way to topping a group that featured both Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund late last year, while Juventus, Champions League finalists in 2 of the last 3 seasons, finished runners-up to runaway La Liga leaders Barcelona in their own group.
The starting lineups of both sides were announced an hour prior to kick-off, with reports in the Italian press earlier today having correctly predicted a change in formation for hosts Juventus.
The Bianconeri, who have enjoyed much of their recent success through the use of a 4-3-3 setup, switched to a 4-2-3-1 for tonight, due to the absence of the injured Blaise Matuidi.
This meant that the attacking quartet of Douglas Costa, Federico Bernardeschi, Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain were all included from the start, in a bold move from Juve boss Max Allegri:
Juventus XI: Buffon; De Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic; Bernardeschi, Douglas Costa, Mandzukic; Higuain
— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) February 13, 2018
Spurs’ boss Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, opted to leave out both Heung-min Son and Kieran Trippier, with Erik Lamela and Serge Aurier instead opted for from the off:
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 13, 2018
Juve, due to their European experience and stellar recent form, were viewed as favourites ahead of kick-off tonight, albeit just, and took little time to prove exactly why, with a free-kick awarded to the hosts with just over a minute on the clock eventually seeing the ball clipped over Tottenham’s backline by Miralem Pjanic and wonderfully volleyed home by Gonzalo Higuain.
Spurs were clearly shellshocked, with Juventus incredibly going on to double their lead just 6 minutes later.
A switched ball from Mario Mandzukic to the left side of Tottenham’s box saw Federico Bernardeschi beat Ben Davies to the delivery, with Davies proceeding to take out the Italian midfielder, resulting in a penalty.
Gonzalo Higuain stepped up to confidently make it 2-0 with just 8 minutes on the clock, with the tie looking as though it could be over early.
However, Tottenham worked their way back into the game as the half wore on, eventually seeing their dominance in possession pay off with a deserved equaliser through Harry Kane.
Unbelievably, Juventus had the chance to restore their 2-goal advantage from the spot on the stroke of half-time, after Serge Aurier needlessly took out Douglas Costa in Spurs’ box.
But Gonzalo Higuain failed to complete his first-half hat-trick, blazing his ensuing penalty off the crossbar and out.
A pulsating second-half followed during which both sides exchanged chances, with Federico Bernardeschi and Mario Mandzukic coming close for the home side.
However, it was Tottenham who found the net next to complete their comeback, via a free-kick from the brilliant Christian Eriksen.
The free-kick itself saw the Danish creator completely wrong-foot Gianluigi Buffon, after the Italian veteran set up his wall too far to his left and then proceeded to take a step the wrong way a split-second before the ball was kicked.
Buffon was far from blameless for Spurs’ first of the night, either, with social media users having since been absolutely ruthless in their assessments of the Juventus captain’s performance:
That is terrible from Buffon
— David Ronnie (@oldmanDR) February 13, 2018
Eriksen free kick! 2-2. Buffon should have that…2-2. #JUVTOT
— Kyle Curley (@kylestyle24) February 13, 2018
Buffon bites the dirt. Eriksen & Kane have outlasted him
— اسپیشلسٹ (@Syed_Wajii) February 13, 2018
— abramek (@ArkadiuszAbrame) February 13, 2018
Eriksen just retired Buffon.
— Chris Toy (@ChrisToy) February 13, 2018
Buffon has been poor tonight
Both goals could’ve and should’ve done better
— RougeMen:EF (@RougeMEF) February 13, 2018
Oh dear Buffon 😳
— Matthew (@matt_a_evs) February 13, 2018
— David Platt (@davidplatt001) February 13, 2018
Buffon for the freekick pic.twitter.com/9Ovidwv4VN
— ShotOnGoal (@shotongoal247) February 13, 2018
That one was all on Buffon. Two Spurs away goals
— Yanks United (@YanksUnited) February 13, 2018