Football Features

Dusan Vlahovic’s record-breaking goal helps Juventus to a Champions League draw with Villarreal

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:07, 22 February 2022

Dusan Vlahovic broke a Champions League record as Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw by Villarreal.

Juve’s start was lightning fast but after the first 10 minutes, Villarreal were much the better side and deservedly equalised midway through the second-half, although Vlahovic is going to steal all the headlines.

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The reason Vlahovic will steal all the headlines is because he scored 33 seconds into the match. That is the fastest-ever goal by a Champions League debutant who has started a match.

Yevhen Konoplyanka scored 19 seconds after coming onto the pitch for Sevilla in his Champions League debut back in 2015, but Vlahovic doing it from the start makes it extra special.

The record Vlahovic broke belonged to Andreas Moller, who scored 37 seconds into his Champions League debut in September 1995 against, of all clubs, Juventus. That record stood for 27 years until tonight.

Vlahovic’s goal was also the fastest in the Champions League knockout rounds since David Alaba scored 24 seconds into an April 2013 match against, you guessed it, Juventus.

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It was less than 30 seconds into the game when Alberto Moreno bizarrely and needlessly ceded possession in the middle of the pitch and Juventus recovered the ball quickly.

Danilo picked the ball up, took one look ahead and then launched the ball down the field in the direction of Vlahovic. The Serbian had run in behind Raul Albiol and Pau Torres and took a touch with his chest, moving him away from goal.

His touch allowed Raul Albiol to race around on the cover, but Vlahovic was undeterred and without even looking up he struck a crisp shot with his right-foot. The ball ricocheted off the turf but kept low as it flew low into the far corner of the net, beyond the despairing dive from Geronimo Rulli.


0-1 Juventus. 33 seconds on the clock.

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Vlahovic went on to have a tough battle against the formidable centre-back duo of Torres and Albiol, but he still managed to find space and cause problems with his movement.

Every time the attack managed to involve him, it felt more like an attack that would hurt Villarreal. This was made even more plain by the fact that despite scoring 33 seconds into the game, Juve didn’t manage a second shot on target until the 85th minute when the Serbian got on the ball, moved to the side to get barely half a yard of space, and then let rip with a sublime shot that stung Rulli’s palms.

The game ended 1-1, but Vlahovic will feel confident of adding to his strike in the second-leg and sending Juventus into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. And from there, who knows?