Juventus 0-3 Villarreal (1-4): Yellow Submarine's late sucker-punches sink Bianconeri
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Villarreal stunned Juventus with three late goals to go through to the quarter-finals with a spring in their step.
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Thankful to the woodwork and to Gerónimo Rulli for a string of fine saves that kept Juventus at bay, Villarreal were forced to sit deep for extended periods before unleashing a stunning three-goal counter-punch in the closing 12 minutes. The Yellow Submarine march on to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for only the third time.
21' Vlahović's cute shot hits crossbar
36' Rulli denies Vlahović at close range
74' Gerard Moreno on after injury lay-off
78' Gerard Moreno scores penalty
85' Pau Torres turns in from a corner
90+2' Danjuma converts spot kick
Match in brief: Villarreal punch their way off the ropes
This ended up looking like the perfect European away performance from Unai Emery's men, but how they needed Rulli to lay the foundation in the first half.
The visiting goalkeeper denied Álvaro Morata and Dušan Vlahović with fine saves inside the opening 20 minutes, and was then grateful to see the latter's cute shot come off the crossbar.
Rulli and Vlahović were at it again before the interval, a point-blank stop on this occasion keeping the scores level.
The tide turned in the blink of an eye, Gerard Moreno setting Villarreal on their way when he converted – just – from the penalty spot. Pau Torres then turned in from a corner to put Villarreal's progress beyond doubt, leaving Arnaut Danjuma to add gloss with a spot kick of his own in added time.
Both teams could be forgiven for wondering just how it all came to pass.
PlayStation® Player of the Match: Gerónimo Rulli (Villarreal)
"Kept his team in the game several times with good saves. Very important and had a big influence on the victory."
UEFA Technical Observer panel
Paolo Menicucci, Juventus reporter
A 3-0 defeat is harsh on Juventus, especially considering the Bianconeri were arguably the better team for more than 75 minutes and had plenty of chances to take the lead. Villarreal, however, were rewarded for a rock-solid defence that stood firm even when forced deep for extended periods.
Villarreal enter Friday's draws
Villarreal will discover who stands between them and the Champions League trophy on Friday, when the quarter-final and semi-final draws take place. They will be streamed live on UEFA.com from midday CET.
Joe Walker, Villarreal reporter
Sometimes there are results where you just have to smile and say: "That's football for you." The first half was almost as good as it got, we thought; however, THAT second half was something else. Villarreal weathered the storm, kept Juve at arm's length and then Emery got his subs and tactical tweaks spot on. A truly remarkable result.
Gerónimo Rulli, Player of the Match: "Tonight will go down in history. We had a chance to make history and the side deserve this. The prep we put into tonight was why we won."
Unai Emery, Villarreal coach: "I'm proud of everything; for Spanish football, for Villarreal and for getting into the quarter-finals of this competition for the first time as a coach."
Gerard Moreno, Villarreal striker: "I actually missed the last penalty I took in a game, but everyone had my back and I knew I was going to score. Never in doubt!"
- This result equals Juve's heaviest ever loss at home in Europe, though they did concede a goal more in their 4-1 defeat by Bayern in the 2008/09 group stage.
- Juve exit the Champions League at the round of 16 stage for the third season running.
- Villarreal had won just two of their previous 11 matches in the Champions League knockout phase (D6 L3).
- Juventus had won ten of their last 11 UEFA Champions League home games (W10 L1), and were unbeaten in ten home games in all competitions (W8 D2).
- Villarreal's previous quarter-final appearances came in 2005/06 and 2008/09.
Fantasy star performers
Pau Torres – 12
Gerónimo Rulli – 10
Pervis Estupiñán – 9
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, Rugani (Dybala 78), De Ligt, De Sciglio; Cuadrado, Locatelli (Bernardeschi 83), Arthur, Rabiot; Morata (Kean 85), Vlahović
Villarreal: Rulli; Aurier, Albiol, Pau Torres, Estupiñán; Capoue, Parejo (Pedraza 86); Yeremi Pino (Chukwueze 65); Lo Celso (Gerard Moreno 74), Trigueros (Coquelin 64); Danjuma