Juventus‘ first-minute opener wasn’t enough for them to seal a first-leg win over Villarreal in their Champions League last 16 clash on Tuesday night.
Dani Parejo scored a second-half leveller for the Yellow Submarine, after Juventus’ big-money January signing Dusan Vlahovic had opened the scoring with just 34 seconds played as he made his first-ever Champions League appearance.
? #UCL pod! ????
? That game…
? ???Allegri’s approach
? Rabiot avoiding a red
? Vlahovic’s Champions League debut
— ForzaItalianFootball (@SerieAFFC) February 22, 2022
Most of the players on the pitch hadn’t even touched the ball by the time the Italians got their noses in front, and it took just 34 seconds and two Champions League touches for Vlahovic to get his first goal in the competition, excellently taking the first chance that fell his way to give Unai Emery’s side an even more complicated task.
Massimiliano Allegri came in for criticism for how he set up from there on out, though, with the Old Lady reverting to their old ways and trying to defend their one-goal lead for the remaining 90 minutes, plus stoppage time.
But they were made to pay for their lack of ambition in the second half, when Adrien Rabiot fell asleep and let Parejo wander past him and into an empty box to meet a cross and equalise, with Wojciech Szczesny unable to react in time.
The Frenchman was lucky to stay on the pitch when he was booked for a horror challenge on Samuel Chukwueze, but VAR rather curiously didn’t intervene and Rabiot got away with just a yellow card.
Juventus host Villarreal in Turin for the second leg on March 16 and the Spaniards will take confidence from Tuesday’s showing and from the knowledge that Juventus’ away goal won’t count for any more as the away goals rule has been abolished this season.
Please consider supporting Forza Italian Football on Patreon for as little as €2 a month. Forza Italian Football has been running for over 10 years providing news, opinion pieces, and podcasts about Italian football. There’s plenty on offer to our Patrons from regular bonus content to free merchandise. Check us out on Patreon here.