Tuesday 23 January 2018

Guardiola left in shock by Juventus comeback

Juventus 2 Bayern Munich 2

Bayern Munich's coach Pep Guardiola. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino
Bayern Munich's coach Pep Guardiola. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino
Bayern's Arturo Vidal gets a shot off. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Robert Lewandowski looks to control the ball after a slip from Juventus' Juan Cuadrado. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller (2nd L) celebrates after scoring against Juventus. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Manuel Neuer looks on as Stefano Sturaro equalises for Juventus. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino

Jim White

What a game this was: quick, feisty, laced with skill, dynamism and tactical prowess. Bayern Munich and Juventus shared four goals on a night of relentless fluctuation and drama. If this is what the future holds when Pep Guardiola brings his talents to Manchester City next season, then we are in for a treat.

For his part, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri - a target for Chelsea - is no Louis van Gaal and he was on very edge of his technical area gesticulating animatedly from the start.

As they dominated the opening, Bayern gave indication of what City fans might expect from Guardiola. They pushed high up the pitch, squeezing down their opponents' space.

Then, through the speed of their passing, they tried to get in behind the Italian defence. Breaking in numbers at lightning pace, they got their shots in too; there is no pass-them-to-death old-style Barcelona about this side.

Thomas Muller missed a glorious chance but made amends just before half time. It was a textbook Guardiola goal. Bayern broke quickly, the ball was pushed out to Arjen Robben wide on the right. His deep cross was hooked back across goal by Douglas Costa and when the ball bounced out to Muller, he rammed it home.

The second was even better. Thiago Alcantara received the ball in his own half and broke forward, finding Robert Lewandowski, who gave it to Robben wide on the right.

We have seen this so many times from the Dutchman, we knew what was going to happen next. But knowing it is going to happen and stopping it are two different things. And Robben duly drifted inside, ran parallel to the goal before arcing a shot beyond Gianluigi Buffon.

But just as Bayern appeared to be cruising, Juve responded like a team of party propers. Paolo Dybala started it, running away from the Bayern backline and firing the ball past Manuel Neuer.

Then Paul Pogba flicked the ball out wide to Alvaro Morata who headed back across for fellow sub Stefano Sturaro to jump in ahead of the flat Bayern backline to score an astonishing equaliser. If this is what City against Chelsea will be like next season, book your tickets now. (© Daily Telegraph, London)


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