But Tottenham dominated possession and grew into the game, securing a much-deserved draw through excellent goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen. So too Rodrigo Bentancur who, at just 20 years old and in his first season with Juve, already boasts Champions League starts against Barcelona and Olympiacos, displaying a maturity beyond his years on both occasions.
Juventus had been sitting back increasingly since the second goal and this was the first they had conceded in any competition in 2018, the first at home since November.
"The performance of Eriksen and Kane and Dele Alli was productive. We have the hope we can win in Wembley".
Tottenham had a mountain to climb against a side who had reached the Champions League final in two of the past three seasons.
Two goals down inside nine minutes, the visitors' heads could have dropped; instead they met fire with fire and - with Eriksen and Mousa Dembélé inspirational in midfield - hauled themselves back into the tie and achieved yet another statement result. "I can't accept that people are getting depressed over a 2-2 draw, it seems like we lost 8-0".
While Spurs missed some very presentable opportunities through Kane and Alli, Pochettino was very proud with the response his players showed.
Then Eriksen got the equaliser in the 72nd minute, beating Buffon with a low free kick to the left post.
His opposite number Massimiliano Allegri said his side had been taken aback by Tottenham's riposte.
This was a Juve side featuring seven starters from last year's final, who had conceded one goal in their previous 16 matches in all competitions and who had never let slip a two-goal lead since moving to their new stadium in 2011.
The Tottenham striker delivered on the big stage, scoring in the Champions League last 16 when his team needed him most.
"It's true that we started the game not in a good way, but that showed that we are mature enough to compete in the Champions League".
"We are doing our best and my players should be happy because they are having an awesome season".
"We still have a good chance to qualify in London, but it's totally insane to think that Juventus has to win 3-0 in the round of 16 in the Champions League".
The Premier League's runaway leaders scored three times between the 14th and 23 minutes - through Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero - before Gundogan added a fourth goal from long range in the 53rd minute.