Tevez, Morata strike as Juventus battle past Dortmund
Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata struck for Juventus as the Italian champions secured a 2-1 Champions League last 16 first leg win over Borussia Dortmund in Turin on Tuesday (Feb 24).
However, Massimiliano Allegri’s hosts were left lamenting a host of missed chances and conceding an away goal that could prove costly heading towards the decisive second leg on Mar 18.
Juventus coach Allegri had warned of the threat of Dortmund’s potent counter-attack, but it was from such a move that Tevez broke the deadlock on 13 minutes.
The ball was fed out to Morata, who controlled well before launching a run down the left flank and firing in a shot which ‘keeper Roman Weidenfeller pushed into the path of Tevez for the Argentinian to bundle over from a yard out.
Juventus looked to be in their stride but the hosts’ joy was ended minutes later following a howler by Giorgio Chiellini. The central defender slipped on the edge of the area, missed the ball completely and clattered into Leonardo Bonucci.
Marco Reus waltzed in to collect and had enough time to pick his spot against a rooted Gianluigi Buffon before levelling on 18 minutes. Juventus tried to hit back, Tevez cutting back for Morata at the byeline only for the Spaniard’s header to spin wide of Weidenfeller’s upright.
But the reality of Dortmund’s away-goal leveller appeared to take hold. Juve looked out of sorts for long spells in the opening half as Borussia moved the ball around with ease, albeit without capitalising.
On 33 minutes midfielder Nuri Sahin had time to unleash a long-range effort that swerved late before Buffon parried with both hands. Pogba looked far from his sparkling best and to make matters worse, Juve lost influential midfielder Andrea Pirlo on 37 minutes after he pulled up with a suspected hamstring strain.
Yet Juve took the lead against the run of play just before the interval. Tevez collected a long ball from his own half and set up Pogba on the left for the Frenchman to deliver a low cross which Morata glanced inside Weidenfeller’s far post with the inside of his boot.
Juve resumed in positive fashion but spurned several clear chances to put the result beyond doubt.
Bonucci narrowly failed to make contact with a corner swung in from the left after it bounced off Weidenfeller, while at the other end former Torino striker Ciro Immobile saw his angled drive held by Buffon as the visitors enjoyed possession.
Juve spurned a great chance just before the hour when Dortmund skipper Mats Hummels lost possession to Tevez in midfield but Pogba wasted the opportunity in the area after collecting Morata’s long ball from the right.
A probing cross by Stephan Lichsteiner was then headed on by Morata into path of Tevez, who ballooned over from 10 yards out. The Argentinian edged closer when he fired a low drive amid a rabble of players on the edge of the area which crept inches wide of the upright.
Dortmund saw a rare chance go amiss when Immobile fired a yard over Buffon’s crossbar from 20 metres. He was replaced moments later by Jakub Blaszczykowski, prompting a tactical switch which saw Aubameyang move into the striker’s role.
But Juve continued to dominate. Tevez was sent through on the right to force Weidenfeller into action and from the corner Chiellini was allowed to rise above Aubameyang to fire a powerful header just over.
Five minutes from full time Roberto Pereyra, who had replaced Pirlo, missed a great chance when he was sent through by Tevez only for his angled low drive to sneaked just past the far post.