Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane spark dramatic comeback at Juventus
This was Tottenham's first Champions League knockout tie since their 2010-11 quarterfinal against Real Madrid -- a duel that was over before it really began. History seemed to be repeating itself in Turin on Tuesday.
Seven years ago, Harry Redknapp's side found themselves a goal down with 10 men after 15 minutes at the Bernabeu. They eventually lost 4-0 on the night and 5-0 on aggregate.
Now visiting Juventus in the first leg of their last-16 clash, Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs team fell 2-0 behind in the opening 10 minutes, with Gonzalo Higuain netting both goals -- the second a penalty.
Spurs seemed to be out of their depth against last season's Champions League finalists. And yet they fought back.
Harry Kane halved the deficit and, after Higuain had squandered the chance to make it 3-1, missing with his second penalty of the match, Christian Eriksen equalised with a free kick in the 71st minute.
Spurs now have the advantage, with two away goals, ahead of the return match at "Fortress Wembley".
Juventus went into this contest with a remarkable defensive record, having conceded just one goal in their previous 15 matches, but Tottenham scored twice against them, proving again that they belong at this level.
Eriksen and Mousa Dembele produced particularly impressive performances, showing off the quality in Spurs' ranks, while Pochettino's players showed great character and belief to respond after the early setbacks, not just keeping the tie alive but effectively taking the lead.
Tottenham have now faced Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Juventus in the last fortnight and have emerged unbeaten, commendably securing two wins and two draws.
Juventus may have been surprisingly vulnerable but Spurs were also shaky at the back. Both full-backs conceded penalties and Davinson Sanchez had a difficult evening too. If Higuain had converted his second penalty, things could have turned out very differently.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Questions must be asked about why Spurs started so poorly, but Pochettino's positive approach paid off in the end. He took a risk by leaving an erratic Serge Aurier on the pitch after the Ivorian had conceded a penalty and been booked, but he got away with it and deserves credit for overseeing another successful night on the continent.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 6 -- Got a hand to both of the goals, but the shots were well-struck, and the Frenchman produced a smart save in the second half.
DF Serge Aurier, 4 -- Conceded the second penalty with a stupid tackle from behind and was then booked after giving the ball away. Needs to regain sharpness in less important games.
DF Davinson Sanchez, 5 -- Looked uncomfortable and nervous. The Colombian was beaten by Douglas Costa along with Aurier when the Ivorian conceded the spot-kick, and he gave the ball away too often.
DF Jan Vertonghen, 8 -- Contributed to Spurs' disastrous start when his uncharacteristically rushed clearance allowed Juventus to build pressure, resulting in the free kick that led to the opening goal. But after that the Belgian excelled. His fellow defenders were unreliable but he kept a cool head and vitally blocked a dangerous cross late on.
DF Ben Davies, 5 -- Clumsily gave away the first penalty and struggled to make an impact going forward.
MF Eric Dier, 7 -- Outshone by other teammates but did his job well, repeatedly altering the shape of the team by moving between the right side of defence and central midfield, depending on which team had the ball.
MF Mousa Dembele, 9 -- Gave away the free kick that produced the opening goal but was otherwise superb. The Belgian controlled the game in midfield, creating space for others with his pirouettes in tight areas and forcing Juventus back with his driving runs. Even when he lost the ball, he usually won it straight back.
MF Erik Lamela, 7 -- Contributed fully with his constant movement, quick passing and work rate out of possession.
MF Dele Alli, 8 -- Found space and ran at Juventus' defenders menacingly on a few occasions, including the moment when he freed Kane to score Spurs' first goal.
MF Christian Eriksen, 9 -- Repeatedly found holes in the home side's much-vaunted defence, giving Kane a close-range chance with a chipped cross in the first half. The Dane also tested Gianluigi Buffon from outside the box and eventually scored the equaliser with a low free kick. A stunning display.
FW Harry Kane, 8 -- Headed straight at Buffon from six yards in the first half but went on to score his 15th goal in 12 games, while also forcing a save with a 20-yard snapshot.
MF Son Heung-min, NR -- Replaced Alli to provide fresh legs and pace with 10 minutes left.
MF Lucas Moura, NR -- Appeared in the 89th minute for his debut.
MF Victor Wanyama, NR -- Entered the fray moments before the end.
Ben is ESPN FC's Tottenham blogger. Follow on Twitter: @BenPearceSpurs.