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Villarreal humiliate Juventus to make European quarters

TURIN, ITALY (AFP) – Villarreal reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League early yesterday after inflicting a humiliating 3-0 defeat on Juventus in Turin to go through 4-1 on aggregate.

Penalties from Gerard Moreno and Arnaut Danjuma and Pau Torres’s tap-in in the final quarter of an hour were enough for Unai Emery’s well-organised side to see off the Italians at the Allianz Stadium and make the last-eight draw.

“It’s a magical night,” said Moreno to Movistar+.

“We thought we could do it, we’ve always shown that in the big games we compete, the team gives its best… we all want to be in there with the best in Europe, we’re going to keep dreaming and we’re going to do it together.”

Europa League holders Villarreal stunned Juve with three sucker punches after spending most of the match on the back foot, content to hold off the hosts’ attacks which got less potent as the match wore on.

Villarreal’s Pau Torres celebrates with teammate Gerard Moreno after scoring against Juventus. PHOTO: AP

An embarrassing loss was just Juve’s second since the end of November and punctures a dogged run of form which has put them back into the league title race at home.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side were loudly booed off by the home crowd who watched their team shrink from a promising start and bounce off a yellow wall before being bundled out of the competition.

Italy are now without a single representative in this season’s Champions League as it moves into its latter stages, as a cynical, clinical Villarreal beat a Serie A team at their own game.

“For the first 75 minutes we played well, we had chances in the first half. They put themselves behind the ball and only an episode like the one that happened could have changed the course of the match,” Allegri said to Amazon Prime.

“They had nine men behind the ball and they didn’t come out to counter-attack. Their intention was to take advantage of a piece of good fortune.”