Juventus suffer more frustration in draw with Nantes

Juventus's disappointing season continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Nantes in the home leg of their Europa League playoff tie on Thursday.

Juventus picked up one win from six Champions League group matches to drop into the Europa League playoffs and after also being deducted 15 Serie A points for financial irregularities their fans have endured a miserable campaign.

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The playoff came as welcome relief for the Turin giants against a side lying 13th in French Ligue 1 and the hosts raced into an early lead when Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic swept home Federico Chiesa's header across goal.

Chiesa was unfortunate not to double his side's advantage early in the second half after his powerful effort hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced on the goal line and came out.

Nantes capitalised on that let-off, however, to score a fine equaliser on the hour mark, Ludovic Blas slamming the ball into the net following a swift counter-attack.

The Nantes woodwork was again rattled when Angel Di Maria's corner evaded everyone and clipped the crossbar, but a winner eluded Juve on another frustrating evening.

A controversial call in stoppage time prevented Juventus of having a clear option to secure a victory. After awarded a penalty to the Italian side for a handball in the area, Portuguese referee Joao Pinheiro was call by the Video Assistant Referee to check into the play. Instead of the penalty, Pinheiro decided to give Nantes a free kick for a foul by Juventus defender Bremer.

Record six-times Europa League winners Sevilla breezed past PSV Eindhoven with a 3-0 home win thanks to goals by Youssef En Nesyri, Lucas Ocampos and Nemanja Gudelj.

In Lisbon, Portuguese champions Sporting had to fight back to draw 1-1 at home with Denmark's FC Midtjylland.

Monaco captain Axel Disasi thundered in a stoppage-time goal to earn his team a 3-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen in their first leg.

The visitors took an unexpected ninth-minute lead when Leverkusen keeper Lukas Hradecky, under pressure from Breel Embolo, lost control of a pass back, stumbled over the ball and sent it rolling into his own goal in a slapstick move.

But the hosts struck twice early in the second half to bounce back. Moussa Diaby slotted home through the legs of keeper Alexander Nuebel to level before teenager Florian Wirtz scored a superb solo goal.