l'esultanza della Juventus dopo il gol di Di Maria al Friburgo

Juve edge Freiburg in Europa League last 16 first leg

Juve edge Freiburg in Europa League last 16 first leg
Juve edge Freiburg in Europa League last 16 first leg
Juve edge Freiburg in Europa League last 16 first leg

A header from Ángel Di María was the difference between Juventus and Freiburg in the first leg of the round of 16 in the Europa League.

The Bianconeri dominated the match until the breakthrough, only then did the visitors begin to enjoy some possession. However, the six shots on target to just one from Freiburg demonstrated how Juve had held the upper hand.

The aim is to do the same in seven days in the return leg.


Juve came strongly out of the blocks and as early as the second minute Ángel Di María worked his way into the penalty area to lay a tantalising ball across the face of the Freiburg goal. However, there were no takers.

Again the Argentine was at the centre of the action that led to the visitors’ first save. Di María slipped a pass for Juan Cuadrado to race on to. A quick exchange in the centre of the park freed Adrien Rabiot, who bore in on goal. His shot from a tight angle was untidily dealt with by Mark Flekken, with the ball spinning dangerously towards the goalline before being cleared.

A change in the team's set up was required when Alex Sandro had to come off after 23 minutes, replaced by Leonardo Bonucci, before the Bianconeri called the Freiburg keeper into action again from two free-kicks. The first was curled over the wall by Cuadrado. The second by Dušan Vlahović. Both were palmed away to safety by Flekken.

After Vlahović’s effort, Juve continued to press and Fabio Miretti turned the ball into the path of Manuel Locatelli, but off balance the number five shot off target.

With just over half an hour elapsed, Juve almost got the breakthrough. Again the danger came from a set piece, a corner from Di María, which deceived Flekken. Bremer made his move to apply the finishing touch at the far post but couldn’t direct his header on target.

Neither could Vlahović with the last chance of the first half after Cuadrado had let fly from the edge of the area. The shot stung the keeper’s gloves and when the rebound broke back into the area, the Serbian striker twisted his header wide.

A header in the second half would provide the breakthrough, however.

Juve continued to boss the game after the interval. An attack down the right broke down but the Bianconeri recycled the ball and tried their luck down the left.

Filip Kostić flighted in a cross, which was majestically met by Di María. El Fideo’s bullet header gave Flekken no chance.

Nine minutes later, with their first shot, Freiburg thought they had found the equaliser. A free-kick delivered into the area by Vincenzo Grifo and was laid off into the path of Lucas Höler, who smashed his half volley into the net.

However, VAR called the attention of the match official and the goal was disallowed because of a handball in the build-up.

Freiburg took the upper hand in the contest and began to see more of the ball. Juve dug in, though, and kept the German side at a safe distance. With 10 minutes remaining, Juve broke on the counter attack. Rabiot broke forward and Federico Chiesa found himself with the ball at his feet at the edge of the area, but his shot was charged down.

At full time only one goal split the two sides despite the gulf of 19-1 in overall attempts over the first leg. Next Thursday will provide the final verdict.


SCORER: 53’ Di María

JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro (23′ Bonucci); Cuadrado, Miretti (46′ Fagioli), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic (77′ Kean); Di Maria; Vlahovic (66′ Chiesa). Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Gatti,Rugani, Soulé, Paredes, Barrenechea. Coach: Allegri.

FREIBURG: Flekken; Sildillia, Ginter, Lienhart (67′ Gulde); Kubler, Eggestein (58′ Keitel), Hofler, Gunter; Sallai (58′ Doan), Holer (88′ Gregoritsch), Grifo. Subs not used: Uphoff, Atubolu, Schmid, Petersen, Wagner, Weisshaupt, Rohl, Schmidt. Coach: Streich.

REFEREE: Sidiropoulos

BOOKINGS: 24’ Gunter, 51′ Holer, 71′ Bremer, 84′ Bonucci

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