Overall, I'd say the team played well: Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri

Juevntus had a perfect start to the match taking the lead through Dusan Vlahovic with 32seconds but Daniel Parejo equalised for Villarreal making it all square going into the second leg in Turin.

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri; Credit: Twitter/@juventusfc
By Sreejith C R | Feb 23, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri felt overall his team played well in the 1-1 draw against Villarreal in the Champions League last-16 first leg encounter at El Madrigal on Tuesday. The Serie A side had a dream start to the match, taking the lead inside the opening minute. But Villarreal leveled the score through Daniel Parejo after the hour-mark to make it all square going into the second leg in Turin next month. Despite getting an ideal start, Allegri’s side couldn’t keep up the momentum and were pushed to the back-foot in the final stages of the game. However, the Juve defence stood firm to keep the score at 1-1.

Also read: Chelsea vs Lille: Havertz and Pulisic on target as the Blues win 2-0 to take control of Champions League last-16 tie

Juventus conceded the goal because of a defensive error. Parejo timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap, get inside the box and volley in from Capoue’s floated ball over the top. De Ligt was furious with his defence as no one marked Parejo’s run. Adrien Rabiot should have marked the Spaniard’s but he didn’t and scores were leveled.

“It was a decisive error, because we were coming off a situation where Vlahovic was half-fouled, we sort of stopped, they sort of stopped, Parejo was left totally alone in the box,” Allegri told Mediaset.

“They had no centre-forward, so couldn’t do long balls, and we knew that we had to be wary of these situations. It was six against one, Rabiot didn’t follow him and we stayed still. We should’ve done better.

Villarreal could have equalised on 13 minutes when left-back Alfonso Pedraza dribbled his way inside the box and passed the ball to Giovani Lo Celso in front of goal, but the Argentine footballer slipped at the crucial moment and scuffed the ball onto the up right. Two minutes later, Arnaut Danjuma’s back-heel flick effort from Samuel Chukwueze’s low cross was denied by Juve keeper Wojciech Szczęsny’s quick reaction save.

“Overall, I’d say the team played well, we risked conceding in the first half, then had chances to score and were caught offside too easily, they had a very high line.”

Six minutes from time, Alvaro Morata and Vlahovic combined outside the box to make space, but the latter’s effort was brilliantly saved by Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.

“There was a really good opportunity late on, their goalkeeper made a good save.”

I am happy Valhovic played well: Allegri

Dusan Vlahovic had a dream Champions League debut as he netted within 32 seconds to give the lead to Juve. Danilo intercepted a ball in the midfield and delivered a perfect overhead pass to find the run of Vlahovic in between two defenders. The Serbian forward collected the ball on his chest and slotted home past Rulli into the far bottom corner from 12 yards out.

At 22 years and 25 days old, Vlahovic is the second youngest player to score on Champions League debut for Juventus after Alessandro Del Piero made his mark aged 20. Vlahovic was signed from Fiorentina in the January transfer window for an initial EUR 70 million transfer fee and has been phenomenal for the Turin side, having netted three times in six games so far.

“I am happy he played well, as it is not easy against Raul Albiol. This is a Champions League Round of 16, Villarreal have experience, technique and are in good shape, so we couldn’t think of coming here and winning 3-0. We have to take things slowly, one step at a time.”

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