Villarreal caused arguably the shock of the Champions League round of 16, as they dumped Juventus out with a 3-0 second-leg win.
Favorites going into the second leg in Turin after a 1-1 draw in Spain, Juve dominated the first half. The crossbar and Villarreal keeper Geronimo Rulli denied Dusan Vlahovic from scoring more than once, while Morata also had a header saved.
The Old Lady had the lion’s share of possession. However, they could not capitalise with a goal.
The game was turned on its head just after the 70th minute. Daniele Rugani’s clumsy challenge on Francis Coquelin gifted a penalty to Villarreal after a VAR check. Substitute Gerard Moreno squeezed in his spot-kick, giving the visitors a valuable aggregate lead.
With Juve piling forward in search of an equaliser, Villarreal could counter. A resulting corner made the game 2-0, as Pau Torres got on the end of Serge Aurier’s set piece. Finally, the Spanish side put the game to bed with another penalty in injury time.
Villarreal’s surprise victory means that no Italian side makes the quarterfinals of the Champions League this season.
Spanish media outlet MARCA were as surprised as anyone by Juve’s failure to beat Villarreal. Unfortunately, their graphics department did not hide their shock well.
MARCA shared an infographic displaying the badges of all eight sides still in Europe’s premier competition. However, you can see that the Juventus badge is hiding behind the Villarreal one.
Did MARCA assume that the Old Lady’s path to the quarterfinals was a foregone conclusion?
¿Acaso no confiabais en 𝗘𝗟 𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗡, amigos de @marca 😂? https://t.co/TglM3Ft6UG pic.twitter.com/fvrUZNwwPi
Villarreal’s social media team enjoyed the error, mocking the media group. They tweeted: “Maybe you didn’t trust the PLAN, dear MARCA friends?”
In addition, they showed a zoomed-in version of the infographic gaffe to make sure everyone noticed.
Villarreal join fellow Spanish sides Real and Atletico Madrid in the pot for the last eight, along with three English teams. Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City all safely negotiated their paths to the quarter finals. Finally, German giants Bayern Munich and Portuguese side Benfica complete the draw.
🇦🇷 When midfield maestro Juan Román Riquelme inspired Villarreal to Champions League semi-finals in 2006…#UCL | @VillarrealCF pic.twitter.com/lokvR4If1D
The Spaniards will undoubtedly be considered underdogs, but that’s how they like it. Villarreal’s European pedigree makes them a tough match for any opponent.
Their current side will hope to emulate the heroics that got Villarreal to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2005/2006.
Who knows? Maybe they can go even further. Their hard-fought win over Juventus will definitely boost their confidence.