Juventus shock Sevilla with late Federico Gatti goal as Italians overwhelm Europa League kings in final minutes to secure semi-final first leg draw
- Sevilla grabbed first-half lead
- Late header from Gatti secured 1-1 draw
- Roma 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen in the other semi-final
TELL ME MORE: Sevilla had a handful of good chances early on in Thursday's contest and eventually capitalised, with En-Nesyri tucking a Lucas Ocampos cut-back into the bottom corner. The visitors could have added another, but Wojciech Szczesny made a couple of neat saves to keep them out.
Juventus created more in the second half, boosted by the introduction of Samuel Iling-Junior and Federico Chiesa. And they were rewarded for their efforts, with substitute Gatti nodding home a 97th-minute equaliser to lock the tie at 1-1 heading into the second leg.
THE MVP: Gatti has only scored two goals for Juventus this year, and both have come in the Europa League. And this one was immensely important. It capped off what was otherwise a forgettable performance. Over 30 minutes on the pitch, Gatti only touched the ball 21 times, and spent most of the time shepherding a rather secure Juventus back four. Everyone else was quiet in the final third for Juve on Thursday night. Dusan Vlahovic was ineffective. Angel Di Maria was anonymous. Arkadiusz Milik was poor. In the end, a forgotten centre-back got the job done.
THE BIG LOSER: One of the best centre-backs of his generation, Leonardo Bonucci had a difficult night in Turin. The 36-year-old was constantly targeted by Sevilla, and lost track of En-Nesyri on the opening goal. Things only got worse in the second half, when Bonucci was forced off with a leg injury. He could now face a race against time to be fit for the second leg - one Juventus will need to win in a hostile environment.
MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? The two sides will meet next week in the second leg, which seems positioned to be an enticing encounter.
MATCH RATING (OUT OF FIVE): ⭐⭐⭐⭐