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Europa League: Juventus ease past 10-man Freiburg in Germany

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  • Freiburg hosted Juventus in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League round of 16 on Thursday night
  • Juve headed into the match with a 1-0 advantage having won in Turin a week ago
  • Goals from Chiesa and Vlahovic sealed a 2-0 victory for Juve for the night and a 3-0 win aggregate

Juventus defeated 10-man Freiburg with goals from Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa to advance to the Europa League quarterfinals, gaining 2-0 in Germany to win the match 3-0 overall.

Juventus, who had a slim lead after the first game in Turin, had a Vlahovic goal disallowed for offside in the rematch on Thursday before Manuel Gulde was sent off for blocking a shot with an extended arm.

In order to calm Juventus’ nerves after the ensuing 45th-minute penalty, Vlahovic stood up to take it, and Chiesa later came off the bench to polish the score.

In the end, Juventus was relaxed as they secured their spot in Friday’s last-eight draw, maintaining their chances of winning European honours and earning a spot in the Champions League for the upcoming season.

Matthias Ginter’s downward header on the 22nd minute forced Wojciech Szczesny into a diving save as Freiburg pinned Juventus back early in their attempt to draw the game.

Five minutes later, after Gleison Bremer’s header hit the crossbar, the visitors thought they had the lead when Vlahovic volleyed in, but the Serbian’s celebrations were cut short when a VAR review deemed him offside.

As halftime drew near, Juventus had greater luck with another VAR review. Gulde’s attempt to stop Federico Gatti’s goal-bound shot hit his arm instead, resulting in the defender receiving a second caution and enabling Vlahovic to convert the penalty kick.

Freiburg 0-2 Juventus (0-3 agg)

Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic celebrates after scoring the opener against Freiburg in the UEFA Europa League last-16. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |

Despite being outnumbered, Freiburg kept up the pressure after the break. Michael Gregoritsch missed with a free kick, and Szczesny saved Lucas Holer’s shot.

Mark Flekken deflected a stoppage-time attempt from Chiesa onto the crossbar as Freiburg wore down, and the substitute scored less than a minute later with a low shot off the left post.

However, speaking after the match, Juve manager Allegri was displeased with Juventus’ performance after Freiburg went down to 10 men, saying the Bianconeri must improve if they are to progress further in the competition.

“The team got a good result as we progressed. We made a lot of mistakes in the second half with our ball handling, and we need to improve,” he said at his post-match press conference.

“We can’t play a second half like this against a team of 10. We were made to defend our own box. The second half should have been better. We need to work; we made a lot of wrong decisions.

“Against 10 we lowered our attention and pace. The result is good – excellent even – but let’s not get excited because we’re in the quarter-finals. We have to think about what we did in the second half and improve.”

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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