Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Allegri demands Champions League impact from Juve

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 24 Nov 2015

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Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus “still haven’t achieved anything in the Champions League” despite reaching the final last season.

Juve, who lost 3-1 to Barca in the 2014-15 decider in June, face Manchester City in their penultimate Group D fixture on Wednesday.

The Serie A champions are second in the group, five points ahead of third-placed Sevilla, and are seeking this week to join their Premier League opponents in securing a berth in the round of 16.

A draw in Turin will be enough should Sevilla fail to beat Borussia Monchengladbach, but Allegri wants his players to remain in control of their fate by overcoming Manuel Pellegrini’s team.

“We need to win [on] Wednesday, it’s the only way we can be certain of making the last 16 as soon as possible,” he told a news conference.

“We still haven’t achieved anything in the Champions League. We have a difficult game tomorrow and it’s still all to play for. Manchester City are one of the best teams in Europe.

“We need to learn to read the game better, speeding things up and slowing things down when the time is right.”

Mario Mandzukic played a key role in Juve’s 2-1 win over City in the reverse fixture at Etihad Stadium in September, but the experienced Croat has since been outshone by youngster Paulo Dybala.

Allegri has stressed the former Bayern Munich striker should not be written off though, while attempting to downplay expectations surrounding the emerging Argentine forward, who was a big-money off-season recruit from Palermo.

“By the end of the season Mandzukic will have weighed in with goals. The ones he’s scored so far have been vital,” Allegri said.

“Dybala has been doing well. We need to let him play and develop without placing too much responsibility on his shoulders.”

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