It was one for the advocates of experience; of Roger Federer, Wladimir Klitshcko and Tom Brady. Juventus channelled their enormous know-how of near-fatal positions in the Champions League to produce a second half comeback to knock Tottenham Hotspur out of the last-16 in an exhilarating second leg tie at Wembley Stadium.
Yet there is little doubt that youthful exuberance should have won the day. Tottenham were labelled "respected" by their manager Mauricio Pochettino after their efforts in the first leg of the 2-2 draw in Turin, and while that tag remains they must also live with their failure to convert a position of authority they held for long periods of their rematch with the Serie A champions.
Son Heung-Min had underpinned an encouraging start in which Juve were nullified superbly with the opening goal just before the break in a half dominated by Jan Vertonghen's rash tackle on Douglas Costa - which led to five aghast Juve players surrounding referee Szymon Marciniak - going unpunished. But the visitors would have the last laugh.
Gonzalo Higuain was the central pillar of Tottenham's pain again. A scorer of two in the first leg the former Napoli forward netted the equaliser after the hour mark before laying on the decisive second for Paulo Dybala. It may have been unspectacular but it was horribly efficient; the performance could have come from any era of Italian success on the continent.
The fine margins the tie had rested on throughout were highlighted in the final minute as Harry Kane struck the post and watched the ball bounce tantalisingly on the Juventus line. And from the moment last season's Premier League runners-up came so close, you knew they were beaten.
Tottenham naturally started with the blood and thunder which accompanies their domestic displays. Gianluigi Buffon couldn't hold efforts from Son; Mousa Dembele was a man mountain in midfield, overpowering Sami Khedira at times; while Higuain was shepherded by the increasingly impressive Davinson Sanchez.
Max Allegri's side, boasting over 600 appearances in the continent's premier club competition, stayed calm however and though Hugo Lloris was untested the Italians steadied the ship to emphasise that the occasion would not overawe them.
Spurs hardly retreated into their shell and showed their character - much like they had in the Juventus Stadium three weeks previous - and began to dictate against one of the sport's most famous names. Son rewarded their gusto with the opening goal with a scuffed finish which typified the tension which had engulfed the occasion.
The South Korean's 16th goal of the season may not have seismically altered the tie - Juventus still needed to register - but breaching a defence which has not conceded in their own league in 2018 could be considered a big psychological moment.
Allegri momentarily embodied his side's increasingly forlorn efforts. The 2015 and 2017 runner-up was scampering up the touchline in the early moments but now stood motionless on the edge of his technical area, no longer kicking every ball. Few would know he was merely plotting the downfall of his opponents.
Squeezed inside their own half as the game resumed after the break, Allegri made two changes to give his side wings, and thus swung the tie in his favour. Kwadwo Asamoah and Stephan Lichsteiner were introduced to provide more thrust on either flank and it paid immediate dividends as the former crossed from the right and Higuain toe-poked the leveller after Khedira's flick.
The hosts had barely had time to comprehend their advantage in the tie being compromised when the heart of their back-four was penetrated again as Higuain fed fellow-Argentine Dybala with a straight-forward through pass, which was finished with aplomb as the clock ticked into the final quarter of the second leg.
From that moment onwards, Juventus hurried into their shell and produced a rearguard their 90s reputation was built-on. Kane almost, and perhaps should, have taken the tie into an extra 30 minutes but his downward header rebounded against the post and was hacked clear in a frantic finish which defined an extraordinary evening.
The celebrations at full-time said plenty about Juventus' smash-and-grab success and how Tottenham - a side who have reached the Champions League quarter-finals just twice - had let an opportunity slip.