• News

Allegri: Juventus can still reach the quarter-finals

Juventus Press Conference Allegri
Getty Images

Massimiliano Allegri is certain Juventus can overturn their 2-0 deficit to Atletico Madrid following Wednesday’s first leg defeat in their Champions League last-16 clash.

The Old Lady’s hopes of a first European title in 23 years were handed a major blow at the Wanda Metropolitano after two goals were scored by Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin from set-pieces in the final 12 minutes of the game to seal a 2-0 win for Atletico.

Although Juventus were, arguably, fortunate to have not conceded earlier on after Atletico were denied a first-half penalty when Mattia de Sciglio brought down Diego Costa before VAR intervention ruled a spot-kick out.

Chelsea loanee Alvaro Morata, who spent two years at Juventus, then headed in Filipe Luis’ cross after the break for Los Rojiblancos before another VAR review ruled it out.

“We played a bad second half, making the mistake of going after them,” said Allegri on the club website.

“We had already risked ourselves on a breakaway and a lost ball, but the fact is that in the second half we did not have a shot on goal.

“They are more used playing games of this type than us. They remained inside the game even if there were no big jolts, while we made mistakes.

“However, we couldn’t be any worse than in the second half, so we must have confidence for the return leg. We knew that Atletico makes you play “badly”, and to beat them you need to stay on top.”

Now the Bianconeri have a daunting task ahead of them in overturning a 2-0 aggregate deficit for the second leg of their last-16 tie at the Allianz Stadium in Turin on March 12.

But Allegri refuses to throw in the towel despite the unfavourable circumstances.

The Juventus coach added: “Now there is a disappointment, but we must believe that we can overturn it.

“It will not be easy, it will take a great game, in which we will have to be good at moving the game more.

“Remaining orderly, which we did not do tonight, even after suffering the second goal, which in fact left us risking more. However, the 2-0 can be overturned, it is useless to cry about it.”

For now, Juventus will return their attention back to the Serie A with a trip to Bologna awaiting them on Sunday.

MADRID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 20: The Juventus players pose for a team photo prior to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Juventus at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on February 20, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)