Europe’s elite competition, the UEFA Champions League returned with some blockbuster ties. In the second leg of a delicately balanced tie, Juventus welcomed Lyon to the Allianz Stadium with a 1-0 deficit to overturn.
The match-up started with the Italian Champions dominating possession, keeping the French team pitched in front of their penalty box. However, Lyon were not to be denied as they gradually started to cause Juve trouble on the counter. Lyon would get their reward in the 12th minute as Rodrigo Bentancur hacked down Houssem Aouar in the box. Memphis Depay dispatched the subsequent penalty with aplomb.
The first half could be defined as a tale of two penalties, as Juventus were also awarded a penalty when Miralem Pjanic’s freekick brushed off Depay’s arm in the box. Cristiano Ronaldo, like always, converted from the spot.
Juventus took the lead 15 minutes into the second half, as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a screamer with his left foot. However, against all odds, Lyon survived the last quarter of the game to pull off the upset of the tournament so far.
Here are 5 talking points from Juventus’ 2-1 (2-2) win over Lyon.
#5 Scouting Lyon's Houssem Aouar
Many an Arsenal fan would have tuned into this match with particular focus on Houssem Aouar. The Gunners have been linked with a move for the Frenchman in recent weeks and the 22-year-old didn’t disappoint with his performance. Aouar caused havoc for Sarri’s men all game, he continually drifted in behind Juve’s midfield giving himself a free run at their defence.
He was the orchestrator for Lyon’s attack, pulling the strings in the final third. It was his mazy run into the box that led to Lyon’s opener, as the only way Juve could stop him was to hack him down. In a high-profile match, the creative midfielder completed 86.7% of his passes, won a penalty, won 3 fouls and completed 5 successful dribbles.
#4 Paulo Dybala's injury cost Juventus dearly
Alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala has been Juve’s talisman this season. The little magician has been involved in 25 goals in 53 appearances, a return only bettered by Ronaldo. Today, the 26-year-old came into this game having missed his team’s previous two games with a thigh strain. This forced him to start the game on the bench, only to be used in an emergency.
With the team searching for a goal, Sarri rolled the dice on Dybala and it backfired terribly. Unfortunately, within 13 minutes of coming on, Dybala was forced to come off due to the same thigh strain issue.