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Sampaoli pays tribute to Rico

Jorge Sampaoli paid tribute to Sergio Rico’s performance after the goalkeeper played a key role in Sevilla’s 0-0 Champions League draw at Juventus.

Juventus created several fine opportunities and were unlucky not to secure all three points against a Sevilla side focusing on frustrating their hosts throughout.

Massimiliano Allegri’s men almost capitalised on their superiority in stoppage time, but Rico produced a wonderful save to deny Alex Sandro and the Spain international’s coach was impressed with him in general.

“Sergio Rico was comfortable with his feet too and made a fine save at the end. He really did well tonight,” Sampaoli said.

“It was a huge effort and we ran some risks at the end. We had to defend in the air too and proved we were prepared for any attack.

“There was no difference between the teams; we were on the same level.”

Despite being content with the result, the Argentine coach is adamant that he will be looking for an improvement against their other two Group H opponents in Lyon and Dinamo Zagreb.

“We need to grow and improve a great deal,” Sampaoli added. “There will be different requirements in different games, but we also need to create more.

“Starting in Turin with a point is good for us. We’ll have a lot of games coming up and it’s a morale-booster.

“Many players showed no fear when pressing high up, [but] we need to improve in possession and start moves better.”

Wed 14 Sep, 2016
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