Juventus’ Vlahovic scores on Champions League debut

Dusan Vlahovic scored the quickest-ever Champions League goal by a debutant starter as Juventus and Villarreal drew 1-1 in a match soured by an injury to American midfielder Weston McKennie.
Serbia international, Vlahovic, joined the Bianconeri in January from rivals Fiorentina after a sensational 18 months and showed his worth on Europe’s biggest stage as he opened the scoring within 32 seconds.
Vlahovic chested Danilo’s long ball down before firing past goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli with his weaker left foot.
Villarreal levelled the game on 66 minutes when Dani Parejo finished from close range after being played in by Etienne Capoue
The opening goal had Juventus in control as they kept Villarreal at arm’s length for the majority of the match as Arnaut Danjuma went closest for the hosts when his improvised backheel was saved by Wojciech Szczesny.
McKennie went close to adding a second for Juve in the 38th minute, but saw his effort blocked by Villarreal defender Raul Albiol.
Juventus – who have been eliminated at the round of 16 to Lyon and FC Porto in the past two seasons – failed to add to their early advantage and allowed Villarreal back into the game.
Unai Emery’s side pulled a goal back through Parejo and then looked to be the more likely to take the lead as they grew in belief.
Adrien Rabiot was lucky to stay on the field as he picked up just a yellow card for a shocking challenge on Samuel Chukwueze in the 73rd minute.
While McKennie was forced off with an ankle injury just eight minutes later.
Speaking after the draw, Vlahovic said he was happy with his goal but disappointed not to get the win.
“My dream has come true at Juventus, but I am not happy because we didn’t win and we all really wanted the victory today. It didn’t happen, so we move forward.
“I think we did what we had prepared in the locker room, but of course a lot depends on the opponents. We say congratulations to Villarreal on their performance, we tried to continue the way we started.
“I have personally already forgotten this match, we just have to look forward to the next game,” Vlahovic told reporters.
The return leg will take place on March 16 at Juventus’ Allianz Stadium. 

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