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UCL: Juventus, Atletico, Ajax draw, Chelsea win

Dusan Vlahovic handed a dream start to Juventus at Estadio de la Ceramica, but the visitors had to stay content with a 1-1 draw in the end.

The ex-Fiorentina striker took only 32 seconds to find the back of the net.

In doing so, he became the fastest goalscorer in the history of the tournament as a debutant. 

The early goal allowed Juventus to dictate the flow of the game for the most part, but Villarreal did threaten to poach an equaliser a handful of times.

Eventually, they restored parity through a Dani Parejo strike.

Weston McKennie, who came close to extending Juve’s lead seven minutes before halftime, suffered a metatarsal injury, which could keep him sidelined for two to three months. 

Easy win for Chelsea

Chelsea had a routine Champions League night at home as they eased past Lille to secure a first-leg 2-0 victory.

Kai Havertz led the line for the Blues, replacing underfiring Romelu Lukaku, who was dropped from the starting XI.

The German put the hosts ahead within 8 minutes of kick-off. Havertz atoned for missing two chances earlier on and calmly directed a Hakim Ziyech cross into the net. 

Christian Pulisic gave Chelsea a two-goal cushion after the break.

N’Golo Kante won the ball deep in the midfield and launched a menacing run towards the Lille defence.

The Frenchman released Pulisic into the box, and the US international made no mistake to beat Leo Jardim at goal. 

Atletico fail to force win

Neither Manchester United nor Atletico Madrid can say that they are having an ideal domestic campaign.

They failed to differentiate themselves in the first leg of their Champions League Round-of-16 meeting as well as the match ended in a one-all draw at Wanda Metropolitano. 

Atletico Madrid had one of their most dominating performances of the season, but they failed to capitalise on it.

Joao Felix got the hosts an early lead, but Anthony Elanga continued his goalscoring run as he came off the Man United bench and nicked an equaliser in the 80th minute.

Jan Oblak could have positioned himself better to prevent the goal, but the Slovenian failed to do so, and helplessly watched the ball crawling into the net. 

Ajax Benfica stalemate

After winning all six matches in the group stage, Ajax failed to win a Champions League for the first time this season.

Dusan Tadic dealt hosts Benfica an early blow as he opened the scoring for the visitors in the 18th minute.

The lead was short-lived though, as Sebastien Haller got the ball into his own net seven minutes later. 

The Austrian has been in red hot form for Ajax this season, and soon he made amends by scoring his 10th Champions League goal of the season.

Roman Yaremchuk grabbed the equaliser for Benfica in the 72nd minute and in celebration, he took off his shirt to show off the Ukrainian coat of arms in his t-shirt and express solidarity for his home nation Ukraine, which is currently facing a Russian invasion. 

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