Chiellini: “Juventus will win the return leg”

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 20: Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus reacts after Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid (not pictured) scores his team's second goal during 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 Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini is convinced they can mount a comeback in their last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid despite losing the first leg 2-0 on Wednesday.

The Italian centre-back played the full 90 minutes but was unable to help prevent Juventus from falling to a 2-0 Champions League defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano.

After VAR had denied Diego Costa a penalty appeal, upon being fouled by Mattia de Sciglio in the area, and later ruled out former Juventus striker Alvaro Morata’s goal, the Bianconeri looked on course to grab a fortunate goalless draw.

But in the final 12 minutes of the match, Atletico scored twice from set-pieces through Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin to seal a 2-0 victory.

Like manager Massimiliano Allegri, however, Chiellini is refusing to give up on Juventus’ chances of reaching the quarter-finals and continuing their pursuit of a first Champions League title in 23 years.

“Incidents change the game and we were punished on set-pieces,” said Chiellini on the club website.

“We have to be more aware, stay calm and resist because we can do it in Turin. There are only three weeks left, we will win the return leg.”

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Meanwhile, Italian winger Federico Bernardeschi was unable to make the desired impact after coming on as an 80th-minute substitute for Paulo Dybala.

Nevertheless, the 25-year-old is also hopeful of a comeback for Juventus.

“We knew it would be a difficult game and it did not go as we hoped, but fortunately there is a return fixture,” said Bernardeschi.

“We will definitely need to be better in the return leg, and not make today’s mistakes. We have conceded two equal goals on rebounds and in these cases, there can be a lack of attention, even if they are very strong on the inactive balls.

“The 2-0 is an important result for Atletico, but at our home ground we can play it and turn it over. We have 90 minutes to stay in the Champions League.”

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: Federico Bernardeschi of Juventus is challenged by Angel Correa of Atletico Madrid during 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)