Juventus flattered to deceive in a stunning 3-0 defeat to Villarreal to bow out of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Juventus have often gotten away with poor performances this season. However, the Bianconeri did not have the rub of the luck on Wednesday night as the UEFA Europa League champions Villarreal put them to the sword in a convincing 3-0 thrashing at the Allianz Stadium.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side went into the game knowing that any sort of win would have been enough to take them to the quarter-finals. However, they failed to make home advantage count as Unai Emery’s men ran riot. Juventus have now bowed out of the Champions League at the Last 16 stage three years in a row.
The game looked to be heading towards extra time before the Yellow Submarine scored a late flurry of goals to settle the tie. Daniele Rugani clumsily gave away a penalty that Gerard Moreno scored in the 78th minute.
Pau Torres all but settled the tie as he poked home Serge Aurier’s pass seven minutes later. Juventus fell apart completely and Matthijs de Ligt conceded a second penalty with a handball in stoppage time. Arnaut Danjuma scored to hand the Bianconeri their joint heaviest defeat at home in the competition’s history.
3 – Juventus have been eliminated in each of their last three Champions League Last 16 ties, as many elimination as they had in the previous 10 appearances in this stage of the competition. Barrier.#JuveVillarreal #UCL
— OptaPaolo ? (@OptaPaolo) March 16, 2022
Juventus certainly have a lot of work to do should they seek to compete for European glory. Allegri’s men were thoroughly outthought and outmanoeuvred on the night and the loss was, if anything, a humbling experience. The Hard Tackle looks at how the Juventus players fared on the night.
Wojciech Szczesny: 4/10
The Polish international had little to do all game apart from picking the ball out of his net on three separate occasions. There was little he could do to prevent Villarreal on the night and came close to saving Moreno’s opener.
The Brazilian was handed a difficult challenge by the pacey and tricky Arnaut Danjuma who was a threat all night. While he did handle the Dutchman well most times, Danilo too, fell apart as Juventus self-imploded in the last quarter of an hour of the game.
Matthijs de Ligt: 4/10
De Ligt & Hand-Ball, name a better duo pic.twitter.com/ci25UDVvCZ
— T!nho (@UmtitinhoMagic) March 17, 2022
Matthijs de Ligt handled the Villarreal attack well in the first half but was a part of the collective failure that stung Juventus in the second half. He gave away Villarreal’s second penalty of the night as Danjuma made it 3-0 from the spot.
Daniele Rugani: 4/10
The Italian more than held his own in the first half but gave away the decisive penalty that broke the deadlock in the 78th minute. He fell apart after that as Juventus’s backline failed to hold their nerve.
Juan Cuadrado: 5/10
The Colombian did the hard running but lacked the end product on the night. Most of his crosses were easily collected by Geronimo Rulli or failed to reach the intended target. Cuadrado was also suspect defensively and struggled to keep hold of Pervis Estupinan on the night.
Manuel Locatelli: 5/10
The UEFA Euro 2020 hero ran forward with the ball but was unable to make much of a difference. While he did offer a presence in the middle of the pitch, it proved to be of little significance in the final result. He did show energy and desire to run forward, but it did little to change the result.
Arthur Melo: 4/10
Melo was the deepest of Juventus’s midfielders on the night and often took a safety-first approach. He was content to win back possession and make sideways passes rather than thread the ball upfield. A rather poor performance from the man who should have kickstarted Juventus’s attacks.
Adrien Rabiot: 5/10
The often criticised Frenchman was among Juventus’s best players on the night. He made several vital interceptions and also showed energy and determination in threading through passes to his teammates. It is unfortunate that Rabiot’s upturn in performances came on a night where the rest of the players chose to lower their standards.
Mattia De Sciglio: 4/10
The Italian did well to make some good forward forays and even found Dusan Vlahovic with one pass. However, it proved to be the highlight of his night as he faded from prominence.
Dusan Vlahovic: 5/10
Vlahovic took just 32 seconds to open the scoring in the reverse fixture but struggled to make an impact back home. The Serb was lively in the first half and had several chances, forcing Rulli into a save and also hitting the woodwork. However, Pau Torres and Raul Albiol marshalled him perfectly after the break, and he looked a rather isolated figure upfront in the second half.
Villarreal scored in the 78th and 85th minutes and are set to knock Juve out of the Champions League ? pic.twitter.com/7qmOBecLPt
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 16, 2022
Alvaro Morata: 4/10
Morata started off well and even had an excellent opportunity to score with his head. A misunderstanding with Cuadrado meant another chance went begging as Juventus piled on the pressure in the first 45 minutes. However, it proved to be the high watermark as Villarreal snuffed out his impact after halftime.
Paulo Dybala: 5/10
The Argentine was brought on to get Juventus back into the game, but the damage was already done by then. There was little Dybala could do on the night to turn the tide.
Federico Bernardeschi: 4/10
Bernardeschi replaced Locatelli in the 83rd minute before Torres’s strike two minutes later took the winds out of Juventus’s sails.
Moise Kean: N/A
Kean was the last throw of the die, replacing Morata in the 86th minute.
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