Europa League: Angel Di Maria's hat-trick sends Juventus into R16
Angel Di Maria scored a hat-trick as Juventus overpowered Nantes 3-0 in their UEFA Europa League playoff tie (2nd leg). Juventus beat Nantes 4-1 (aggregate) to reach R16. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Juventus went 1-0 up in the fifth minute. Di Maria added two more goals to complete the rout. Meanwhile, Nicolas Pallois of Nantes was sent off before half-time.
Di Maria scripts these records
Di Maria (35y and 9d) has become the oldest player to score a Europa League hat-trick since Zlatan Ibrahimovic (35y 136d) did for Manchester United (vs St Etienne in February 2017). As per Opta, he is the first Juventus player to score at least three goals in a European Competition match played away from home since Filippo Inzaghi vs Hamburger SV in 2000 (UCL).
Di Maria attains these numbers versus Nantes
Di Maria scored his first hat-trick for Juventus. As per Squawka, Di Maria had a 100% take-on success, besides 100% shot accuracy and aerial duels. He made 91 touches in the match, including seven touches in the opposite box. He recorded three goals, three accurate passes, and seven shots on target, besides winning four duels.
An incredible feat for Di Maria
As stated, Di Maria had seven shots on target in his stupendous performance versus Nantes. According to William Hill, no player has landed more shots on target since the competition was rebranded in 2009-10. He has now raced to seven goals in all competitions for Juventus this season, including four in the Serie A.
Juventus dropped to Europa League
Juventus wound up third in their Champions League group (W1 L5) to be demoted to the Europa League. Meanwhile, the Europa League R16 draw will take place today in Nyon, Switzerland.
How did the match pan out?
Juventus were 1-0 up in no time, with Di Maria shooting a curler into the top corner. Nantes defender Nicolas Pallois was sent off for a 17th-minute handball and Di Maria converted the penalty to put Juventus 2-0 at half-time. Later, the Argentine nodded home a Dusan Vlahovic cross to seal the game. Nantes lacked the finishing to be knocked out of the competition.