Villarreal – Juventus: Juventus Settle For A Draw In Spain As Villarreal Win The Tactical Battle (1-1)
In their first UEFA Champions League knockout round appearance for well over a decade, Villarreal hosted Juventus, who have repeatedly disappointed in the competition of late. Both sides would have given themselves a decent chance to progress to the quarterfinals, but after the 1-1 draw in the first leg, Villarreal must feel that they have the upper hand from a tactical point of view.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
Having qualified for the Champions League as last season’s Europa League winners, Villarreal certainly defied expectations by making the knockout stages in a group that included Manchester United and Atalanta alongside Swiss champions Young Boys. Better yet for them was the fact that the advent of the knockouts coincided with an upturn in league form, as Unai Emery’s side were unbeaten for a month going into this match with nine goals scored and just one conceded in four matches, which included fixtures against league-leaders Real Madrid and high-flying Real Betis. A relatively favourable draw meant that the Spanish club had a serious shot at reaching the quarterfinals of this competition for the first time since 2009, and a strong home leg performance would be key for that.
Although unbeaten in the league since late November, Juventus were not enjoying the best of times heading into this match. Winter signings Dušan Vlahović and Denis Zakaria had hit the ground running by scoring a goal each on their debuts, but had only seen their side win one of the three subsequent games as both Atalanta and . . .