While everyone enjoys a good comeback story in football, the whole ordeal is presumably quite vexing for the team that goes two goals up, only to be pegged back late in the game.
Bayern Munich suffered such a fate on Tuesday in Turin, as their two-goal lead was cancelled out by Paulo Dybala and Stefano Sturaro in an incredible second half display by Juventus.
Dutch star Arjen Robben, who himself had scored Bayern Munich’s second goal, was not best pleased with his side’s performance, insisting that Bayern Munich need to see out games like this against the bigger opponents.
“You sense the disappointment in the dressing room,” Robben said (via Bayern Munich’s official website). “If you’re 2-0 up against opponents like these, you have to close out the win. We have to maintain our control, especially in defence.”
In spite of the draw, however, Bayern Munich seem to have the upper hand in the tie, as they have scored the two away goals at the Juventus Stadium. Also, the fact that the Bavarians have a formidable Champions League record at home makes the return leg all the more difficult for Juventus.
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Robben conceded that his side are now ahead in the tie overall, and that it is up to them to finish the job at the Allianz Arena. He said, “We’re well-placed for the return. We’ll need plenty of passion at the Allianz Arena but also cool heads, like we showed for the first hour today.”
Manager Pep Guardiola was pleased with his side’s effort in Turin, and praised Juventus’s mental strength for the hosts’ stunning second-half fight-back.
“Obviously it would have been better to win, but we were playing against last year’s finalists. It was an incredible performance! It’ll be just as tough in the return as it was today. Juventus have great mental strength,” said Guardiola.
A tactical masterstroke by Guardiola
While Juve boss Max Allegri had set out to put pressure on the Bayern centre-backs when they had possession by playing two strikers up front, Guardiola had a completely different strategy to counter the Tuscan’s plans.
Guardiola had mentioned before the match that midfielder Arturo Vidal would have to play a slightly deeper role against his former employers. However, the Catalan coach surprised everyone by asking Vidal to drop down into central defence, in between Kimmich and Alaba, to dictate the play from the back.
Thus, the two Juventus forwards who were trying to press the defence found themselves outnumbered, and Bayern were able to play around them with consummate ease.