Dusan Vlahovic took just 31 seconds to demonstrate to Europe why Juventus selected him to fill the void created by Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Serbian striker, who scored a stunning goal in Tuesday’s Champions League debut after making contact with the ball for the first time in a 1-1 draw at Villarreal, had a fantastic debut in the Champions League.
Ronaldo’s goal featured the elements of strikes that only players of his caliber can achieve, including power, sense of the moment, and that extra bit of confidence that ensures no scoring opportunity, no matter how slim.
After controlling a long pass from Danilo with his chest, the striker at 22 years old did not hesitate in taking on Raul Albiol and Pau Torres at center-back. While he was spinning toward the goal, he used only one touch to prepare his shot. Geronimo Rulli was not impressed by his low effort. He then squirted in at an angle that allowed him to pass Geronimo Rulli.
He scored his second goal with Juventus, having secured his transfer from Fiorentina of 70 million euros ($80 million). This was to help find a top scorer following Ronaldo’s departure five month earlier.
“It was enormous to score on my debut. Vlahovic stated that it was very emotional. “But, I can’t be 100% satisfied that we haven’t won the game.”
Dani Parejo scored for Villarreal in 66 minutes, leaving the playoff in Italy poised for the decisive match with the away goal rule removed this season.
Villarreal was quick to respond to Vlahovic’s opening goal. Alfonso Pedraza took the ball and ran from the left side box. He laid off for Giovani lo Celso but his inept attempt to reach the top of the left foot in the 13th was the reason.
Vlahovic impressed also with his ability to score more long goals for his teammates during the first half. Albiol had made it his mission to eliminate this outlet, and Parejo scored the equalizer in the 66th minute.
Albiol’s attempt to win a ball for Juventus’ new striker caused a lapse in defensive discipline. It gave Etienne Capoue enough time to choose a pass forward from Parejo, a fellow midfielder. Parejo was left without a marker by Juventus’ backline, making it 1-1.
“When they score in a first minute, it destroys your game plan. Parejo stated that even though it was difficult, they knew how to keep going and win the match. “To draw 1-1, after starting from behind is a good result. I’m satisfied with the way we played and the chances that we created against a giant such as Juventus.
Vlahovic nearly conjured the winner in five minutes with a powerful shot Rulli was able to stop.
After Pervis Estupinan’s hard tackle to his lower left leg, Weston McKennie, a United States midfielder, had to be replaced by Juventus in the 80th.
London’s defending champion Chelsea was beaten by Lille 2-0 by Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic.
After losing in the round of 16 in both previous seasons, Juventus will be trying to reach the quarterfinals.
Unai Emery has Villarreal (last season’s Europa League champion) back in the knockout stages of Europe’s elite club competition, for the first time since 13 years.
Spanish striker Gerard Moreno will be back in action for the second leg in Turin, March 16th.