22 February 2022
A quick-fire start from Dusan Vlahovic gave Juventus an early advantage on their first ever first to Villarreal but the Spanish side, pushed on by the home support, equalised in the second half through Daniel Parejo. The 1-1 result means the tie is finely poised for the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16.
With his first touch he set himself up, and with his first shot he scored his first goal in the Champions League. With just 32 seconds on the clock, Dusan Vlahovic's European debut was a dream come true. Villarreal responded and on 12 minutes came close to the equaliser. Full-back Alfonso Pedraza burst into the penalty area and squared the ball to Giovani Lo Celso. The attacking midfielder hit his shot from the height of the penalty spot but watched as it cannoned off the post for a goal kick. The home team's midfield duo, Etienne Capoue and Daniel Parejo were dictating the play and their link-up in midfield released winger Samu Chukwueze down the right. His low cross reached Arnaut Danjuma, whose audacious back-heel took a deflection off Danilo before Wojciech Szczęsny dealt with the danger.
When Juventus pressed high, putting Villarreal under pressure, momentum swung back in favour of the Bianconeri. Manuel Locatelli was set up at the edge of the penalty area but his shot was off target. Juan Cuadrado and Weston McKennie exchanged passes to free Alvaro Morata, whose shot was powerful but lacked accuracy. As the first half drew to a close, the hosts were being kept at a safe distance and were struggling to create chances in front of the Juve goal.
PAREJO LEVELS THE TIE
Leonardo Bonucci came on immediately after the restart for Alex Sandro. With three central defenders, Juve appeared in control of the game. On 47 minutes, Morata had another chance, but his volley flashed wide of Rulli's post. However, as the second half progressed Juventus found themselves deeper inside their own half, especially as veteran Raul Albiol had taken the measure of Vlahovic. The home team found the equaliser midway through the second period. Capoue fed the ball into the path of Parejo, whose run had gone unchecked by the Bianconeri defence. One on one with Szczesny, the midfielder picked his spot and placed the ball beyond the Juve keeper.
Massimiliano Allgri brought on Arthur and Denis Zakaria for Locatelli and McKennie in search of a second goal. The nearest they came was the second of the chance of the match for Vlahovic, whose low drive on 85 minutes produced a fine one-handed save from Geronimo Rulli. With neither side willing to risk throwing players forward, the match finished 1-1, finely poised for the return leg on 16 March at the Allianz Stadium.
VILLARREAL 1-1 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-1)
Scorers: 1' Vlahovic (J), 66' Parejo (V)
Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza (79' Estupiñán); Chukwueze (90' Pino), Capoue, Parejo, A. Moreno (79' Trigueros); Lo Celso, Danjuma (90' Dia)
Subs not used: Asenjo, Jorgensen, Mario, Aurier, Mandi, Iborra, Moi Gómez
Szczęsny; Danilo, de Ligt, Alex Sandro (46' Bonucci), De Sciglio (87' Pellegrini); McKennie (81' Zakaria), Locatelli (71' Arthur), Rabiot; Cuadrado, Vlahovic, Morata
Subs not used: Perin, Pinsoglio, Kean, Soulé
REFEREE: Siebert (GER)
ASSISTANTS: Seidel, Foltyn
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Jablonski
VAR: Dankert, Osmers
BOOKINGS: 73' Rabiot (J), 73' Rulli (V)