Two Italian teams, Juventus and Roma, watched the UEFA Europa League draw today from the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland, to see who they would face in the Round of 16.
While Jose Mourinho’s team will face Real Sociedad of La Liga, Juventus will play Bundesliga team Freiburg.
Both Serie A teams have a tremendous incentive to advance in the league and earn the accolades that come with winning the second-most significant trophy in Europe.
Juventus defeated FC Nantes 3-0 on Thursday night to secure a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.
Angel Di Maria of Argentina stole the show at Stadium de la Beaujoire with a hat-trick that included a breathtaking left-footed curler just four minutes into the contest.
A few minutes later, Di Maria almost scored another elegant goal with a back-heel strike, but an FC Nantes defender’s handball prevented it from crossing the goal line. El Fideo, as he is affectionately referred to in the Argentine soccer community, took the penalty kick and converted from 12 yards out to give his team a two-goal advantage. In the second half, he used a header to complete his own hat trick.
In a post-game interview with Sky Sport,
Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri praised the 2022 World Cup winner, calling him “a great champion.” “He sees things other people miss.”
Freiburg of Germany will face Juventus as a result of the Nyon draw. The first international matchup between the two clubs will occur in leg one on March 9.
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Later last night, Roma took on RB Salzburg at Stadio Olimpico. Beginning with a 1-0 overall advantage for the defending champions of the Austrian Football Bundesliga. The Giallorossi set the tone for the game early on and scored twice in the first half with amazing grit to overcome a one-goal deficit.
The most creative player was likely the wing-back Leonardo Spinazzola, whose pace was simply too much for the RB Salzburg defence. By utilising his acceleration, the Italy international sped past his opponent twice before delivering precise crosses that were met by Andrea Belotti’s header and Paulo Dyabla’s left-footed volley for Roma’s first and second goals, respectively.