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Pepe praises Juventus despite Champions League exit

Simone Pepe believes former club Juventus can take pride in the way they performed against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, despite being knocked out of the competition.

Having rallied from 2-0 down to draw the first leg 2-2 in Turin, the Serie A side appeared to be on course to reach the quarter-finals when they took a 2-0 lead in the return fixture in Germany on Wednesday.

However, Bayern hit back to force extra time – including scoring a dramatic injury-time equaliser through Thomas Muller – before going on to win 4-2 on the night, meaning Pep Guardiola’s team progressed 6-4 on aggregate.

Despite the disappointment of going out of Europe, Pepe – who left Juventus in August 2015 to join Chievo – feels his old team-mates can learn from the experience.

“I think Juventus comes out from Wednesday’s game with more strength than before,” he told Omnisport.

“For 60 minutes watching the game anybody had the impression that Juventus was Bayern for how they were dominating.

“Everybody expected to be the other way around, with the Germans attacking for the whole game, instead Juventus dominated until the 70th minute.

“Then it’s normal in football that a game can end how it did. But, Juventus’ players have to be proud of their performances.

“It’s a shame we conceded two goals in two situations like we did.”

With their Champions League campaign now over, Juventus will focus on domestic matters.

Juve sit three points clear of Napoli at the top of the league table with nine games to go, while they are also through to face AC Milan in the Coppa Italia final.

Thu 17 Mar, 2016
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