Europa League: Di Maria Hat-Trick Takes Juventus Through To Next Round

Angel di Maria scored a hat-trick to give Juventus a comfortable 0-3 win at Nantes and take the Italian side into the last 16 of the Europa League.

After a 1-1 first-leg draw in Italy last week, Di Maria scored after five minutes with a brilliant curled shot into the top corner from 18 yards.

Nantes defender Nicolas Pallois was sent off for a 17th-minute handball and Di Maria converted the penalty.

The Argentine forward got his third with a header in the 78th minute.

Juventus dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group and will find out their next opponents in Friday’s draw in Nyon, Switzerland at 11:00 GMT.

READ MORE: Juventus Docked 15 Points Over Illegal Transfer Dealings

They will play one of the sides that won their Europa League group, with Premier League leaders Arsenal one of their potential opponents.

The other teams they could face are Fenerbahce (Turkey), Ferencvaros (Hungary), Feyenoord (Netherlands), Freiburg (Germany), Real Betis and Real Sociedad (both Spain) or Union Saint-Gilloise (Belgium).

Juventus are seventh in Serie A after being deducted 15 points following an investigation into their past transfer dealings, so may need to win the Europa League if they are to be playing in next season’s Champions League.

Nantes are 13th in France’s Ligue 1 so unlikely to be in European competition in 2023-24, unless they win the French Cup.

Their hopes of winning this tie ended inside 20 minutes as they went two goals down and reduced to 10 men after Pallois’ dismissal.

Juventus also hit the post twice, through Manuel Locatelli and Filip Kostic.