How Juventus came off the ropes to match Bayern

Who would have believed Juventus could make it back from 2-0 down to earn a draw with Bayern? UEFA.com's Paolo Menicucci on how the Bianconeri can never be written off.

Paulo Dybala's goal restored Juventus's self-belief
Paulo Dybala's goal restored Juventus's self-belief ©AFP/Getty Images

Seemingly all at sea after going 2-0 down at home to Bayern early in the second half, who would have thought there was any way back for Juventus? Unbeaten in 16 European home games since a 2-0 loss to Bayern in 2013, the Bianconeri once more demonstrated their stubborn refusal to be go down, salvaging a 2-2 draw.

Forced by injury to field full-back David Alaba and midfielder Joshua Kimmich in the heart of the defence, Josep Guardiola's side came out fighting. Bayern dominated possession, with Arjen Robben and Douglas Costa rampant on the flanks. So how exactly did Juventus manage to lever them out of a winning position?

Highlights: Juventus 2-2 Bayern
Highlights: Juventus 2-2 Bayern

The element of chants
"We could have come away with more today," Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer admitted after the game, giving the Juventus crowd full credit. "All the chaos in the stadium caused us to lose our composure a bit."

When Robben scored Bayern's second, the only noise was coming from the visiting fans, but their celebrations did not last long. Paulo Dybala quickly halved the deficit and the Juventus fans' sensed there was more to come. The chants came out: "Chi non salta, non ci crede" (whoever doesn't jump, doesn't believe) and "Noi vogliamo undici leoni" (we want eleven lions). The eleven lions went close soon after through Juan Cuadrado and finally equalised via Stefano Sturaro.

Robben 'disappointed' but confident
Robben 'disappointed' but confident

Reserves of strength
Massimiliano Allegri's substitutions in the second half helped turn the tide after a disappointing opening period. Making only his sixth appearance in all competitions since the end of October, Hernanes deputised ably in midfield after replacing the injured Claudio Marchisio at the break, while fellow incomers Álvaro Morata and Sturaro combined for the equaliser. "This is the highest point in my short career," the 22-year-old midfielder said. "I hope I will have a few more nights like this. Bayern are strong but we did great to come back."

Dybala after scoring his first in the competition
Dybala after scoring his first in the competition©AFP/Getty Images

Dybala's perfect timing
Already a Juventus favourite, the 22-year-old Dybala picked a great time to end his search for his first UEFA Champions League goal, his strike completely revitalising his side. "We put our hearts into it," the Argentinian forward said. "We knew that Bayern were really strong but in the second half we managed to put more pressure on them. We are now going to a stadium where not many teams win, but I think we can if we play as we did in the second half."

Allegri urges his team on
Allegri urges his team on©Getty Images

An indomitable spirit
Juve's never-say-die attitude is nothing new. Remember how they wiped out Real Madrid's away-goal advantage at the Santiago Bernabéu in last season's semi-final? Or how they recovered from a terrible start in the final before eventually succumbing to Barcelona? Not to mention how they just reclaimed top spot in Serie A with a 15th straight league win following their worst-ever start to a season. 'Fino alla fine' (until the end) is one of their club mottos for a reason.

Can they do it again?
Bayern's overall performance was impressive, and the German champions can be devastating at home, but they will know not to take anything for granted against this Juve side. "I expect them to be even more aggressive in Munich," Guardiola said after the game, mindful no doubt that his next UEFA Champions League game with Bayern could be his last.

Can Josep Guardiola's Bayern stop Juventus?
Can Josep Guardiola's Bayern stop Juventus?©AFP/Getty Images

 

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