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    Thursday, March 17, 2022

    Villarreal Dump Italian Giants Juventus Out of UEFA Champions League

    The Yellow Submarine put up a clinical display to ensure a spot in the quarterfinals of Europe’s elite competition.

    Villarreal stunned Juventus with a 3-0 win to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2009.

    Gerard Moreno, Pau Torres and Arnaut Danjuma all scored in the final quarter as Juventus unravelled in embarrassing fashion.

    Unai Emery’s side produced a defiant defensive show for most of the Turin return after the two sides had played out a 1-1 draw in Spain three weeks ago.

    Villarreal took a 78th-minute lead when substitute Francis Coquelin tumbled over Daniele Rugani’s outstretched leg.

    The penalty was awarded after a VAR review and Moreno, who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes, just managed to beat Wojciech Szczesny from the spot.

    Torres added a second five minutes from time, stabbing in from close range after Serge Aurier had flicked on a corner.

    Danjuma sealed victory in stoppage time with a third goal in 14 minutes, sweeping home a second penalty for ‘The Yellow Submarine’ after Matthijs De Ligt had handled.

    Villarreal had earlier settled into their possession-based game, yet it was Juventus who carried the greater attacking threat.

    Juventus should have broken the deadlock after 11 minutes when Juan Cuadrado’s whipped cross found Alvaro Morata unmarked in front of the Villarreal goal.

    Contact on the header was good but Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli reacted superbly to claw the ball to safety.

    Morata turned provider to free Dusan Vlahovic, but again Rulli was alert to the Serbian’s bending shot.

    Vlahovic went even closer when he met Mattia De Sciglio’s centre to rattle the crossbar from a tight angle.

    Giovani Lo Celso curled just wide as Villarreal countered at speed.

    But the visitors were again indebted to Rulli’s reflexes when he kept out Vlahovic’s point-blank header at his near post – and Juventus were made to pay for their missed chances in the closing stages.

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