Europa League: Nantes snatch a draw from Juventus, Monaco achieves the feat in Leverkusen

Nantes did not miss its big European meeting in Turin by going to hang Juventus (1-1) Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League, maintaining its dreams of exploit in a week at Beaujoire. After the quick opener for Juventus by Dusan Vlahovic (13th), Ludovic Blas equalized on the hour mark after a perfect counter.

Nantes then defended the draw tooth and nail, with the help of the uprights and with a final scare on a penalty claimed by the Bianconeri in added time but ultimately not granted by the referee. They did not regret their trip, the some 2,000 Nantes supporters who came to Turin to find the scent of European matches in the 1980s and 1990s, in this city where the Canaries had played in April 1996 in a semi-final of the Champions League.

Juve then won the first leg 2-0 and, despite the defeat on the return to Beaujoire (3-2), had won the right to go to the final and won their last continental trophy to date. For some of these Nantes fans, the start of the evening was however complicated since some were blocked at the access controls and could not reach the stands until the kick-off.

Lafont trapped by ex-Fiorentina

The Argentinian asked for the first time Alban Lafont (3rd). Ten minutes later he delivered an opening marvel for Federico Chiesa who served Vlahovic alone in front of goal. Cruel for Lafont trapped by his two ex-partners of Fiorentina. After this difficult start, Nantes had the merit of not sinking and knew how to remain compact. Gradually, the Canaries even pointed the tip of their beak near the Italian surface, taking advantage of a Juve sometimes seeming to be satisfied with this short advantage.

Lafont, impeccable in front of Di Maria (28th, 49th), left Nantes in the match and Blas did not miss the first opportunity when it presented itself: the number 10 concluded in force an express counter led by Fabien Centonze in taking advantage of a bright pass from Mostafa Mohamed (60th) and a slip from Gleison Bremer.

Juve have therefore always won only one of their seven European matches of the season after a disastrous run in the Champions League. And if she wants to win the Europa League to play the Champions League next season, it will now go through a victory at La Beaujoire where the Nantes supporters will be much more than 2,000 this time.

Monaco at the end of the effort

Monaco first opened the scoring with a gag goal, when Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky scored against his side under pressure from Breel Embolo (1-0, 9th).

The two teams then went blow for blow, with two goals from Leverkusen (Moussa Diaby 48th, Florian Wirtz 59th), and a few moments of great turbulence for Monaco. But the Principality’s players showed great character by equalizing (Krepin Diatta, 74′) and snatching the 3-2 victory in added time (Axel Disasi, 90+2).

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