Villarreal held at home by Juventus to a 1-1 draw in R16 first tie

By Rek Hanibal Published on February 23, 2022
Villarreal held at home by Juventus to a 1-1 draw in R16 first tie

The 22-year-old Serb, a £58m signing from Fiorentina last month, ran onto Danilo's long ball before a swivel and clever finish after 32 seconds.

Villarreal's Giovani lo Celso sliced a shot off the outside of the post.

The leveller came when Dani Parejo ghosted to finish Etienne Capoue's aerial ball into the box.

Juve was fortunate to end with 11 men as Adrien Rabiot was only booked for a dangerous foul on Samuel Chukwueze.

"It was huge to score on my debut," said Vlahovic, whose only other European experience was as a 16-year-old for Partizan Belgrade in Europa League qualifying. “It was very emotional.

“However, I cannot be 100% satisfied because we have not wonthe game. I have already forgotten this game, and I’m focused on the next.”

With the away goal rule scrapped this year, the tie is level going into the second leg in Turin in three weeks.

Massimiliano Allegri's Juve has been unbeaten in 90 minutes since November, but they were made to pay for their negativity at Estadio de la Ceramica.

They moved to a back five after scoring that first-minute goal and then switched off as Parejo was unmarked to fire in a leveller.

A Vlahovic shot from outside the box in the 85th minute was their only other shot on target.

To make matters worse, they lost midfielder Weston McKennie to an ankle injury in the second half.

Villarreal, who have never lost a home game in the Champions League knockout stages, pushed for a winner but missed injured Spain striker Gerard Moreno.

Arnaut Danjuma, who has deputised up front and scored a hat-trick at Granada on Saturday, had a clever backheel shot saved in the first half.


Rek Hanibal

Rek Hanibal

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