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Tolisso thwarts Juventus as Lyon earn lifeline

Corentin Tolisso conjured a late equaliser to prevent Juventus from claiming an early berth in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase and keep Lyon's hopes alive.

Matchday 4 highlights: Juventus 1-1 Lyon
Matchday 4 highlights: Juventus 1-1 Lyon

Corentin Tolisso denied Juventus a spot in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 with two games to spare as Lyon gave themselves a glimmer of hope with a 1-1 draw in Turin.

Juve needed a win to book an early place in the knockout phase, and they appeared set to do just that after Gonzalo Higuaín slotted in from the penalty spot with 13 minutes gone, Mouctar Diakhaby having brought down Stefano Sturaro.

Gonzalo Higuaín gave Juventus the lead
Gonzalo Higuaín gave Juventus the lead©AFP/Getty Images

Fit-again Claudio Marchisio then volleyed against the woodwork and Higuaín fired over, before Rachid Ghezzal shot wide to prove Lyon were still in with a fighting chance before half-time.

The visitors remained a threat after the restart and Tolisso levelled with five minutes to go, heading in from a Ghezzal free-kick.

Key player: Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
"I would be happy if he plays half the games from now until Christmas," Massimiliano Allegri said recently of Marchisio, who contested his first UEFA Champions League match since undergoing knee surgery in May. The Italy midfielder is still not back to his best, but his return is so important for Juve. Operating as a deep-lying playmaker, he gives balance to the entire team, serving as a screen in front of the back four – and bringing elegance to the midfield.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri©AFP/Getty Images

Allegri keeps it interesting
Massimiliano Allegri's tactical experiment against Lyon offered a potential glimpse into the future, with the Juventus coach switching from the usual 3-5-2 to a 4-3-1-2 as he tried to give more attacking freedom to Miralem Pjanić behind the two strikers. Did it work? Not completely, as Pjanić was replaced with Alex Sandro in the second half and Juve returned to their usual approach. Still, Allegri will likely try this system again in the coming months.

Reporter's view

Paolo Menicucci, Juventus (@UEFAcomPaoloM)
Juve failed to book a place in the round of 16 with two games remaining – an achievement they last managed in 2008/09. The feeling, however, is that the Bianconeri still have a huge margin for improvement. The defence is solid, despite conceding its first UEFA Champions League goal today, but Juve should really be creating more in attack considering their arsenal.

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