Friday, August 19, 2022

Allegri has no regrets despite Juve´s ´ugly´ Champions League exit to Villarreal

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Mar 2022

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Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri insisted he would play the same way again despite his side’s “ugly” Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Villarreal on Wednesday. 

The Bianconeri conceded three goals in the final 12 minutes to Unai Emery’s side – two of which came from the penalty spot – to suffer a 3-0 defeat at the Allianz Stadium, following a 1-1 draw in the first leg three weeks ago. 

It was Juve’s joint-heaviest home defeat in the Champions League and saw them dumped out at the last-16 stage for the third consecutive season. 

Despite that, Allegri has no regrets over the way he set his side up and refused to criticise his players. 

“I would play it the same way, as the players did well for 65 minutes,” he told Amazon Prime Italia. “At a certain point, Villarreal put everyone in defence and only an incident could break that deadlock. 

“We have to accept this defeat, it’s ugly, but I cannot complain about the lads as they played well. 

“This is football, sometimes it goes in your favour, sometimes it’s against you. It’s just about accepting that.” 

Villarreal scored with all three of their shots on target to equal their biggest margin of victory in the Champions League. 

Juve largely struggled to break them down at the other end, and Allegri believes they lost their discipline after Gerard Moreno’s opener from the penalty spot. 

“We tried to move the ball around,” he added. “Villarreal had nine men behind the ball and didn’t even try to counter at one stage. 

“We had our chances in the first half. They were aiming to either take it to extra time or make the most of incidents. 

“We were naive on the penalty and rather than turning it around, we conceded another two goals and lost control of the match.” 

Juan Cuadrado’s 50th Champions League appearance for Juve ended in disappointment, yet the Colombia international wasted little time in turning his attention to domestic action. 

“We had a good first half, didn’t take our chances and that affected us,” he said. “We tried to move the ball more to create spaces after the break, but Villarreal defended well and were happy to wait for a counter-attack. 

“We tried to do what the coach asked, move the ball around more to create spaces, but Villarreal were so well set out in defence that the only way of finding a way through was crosses. This is football. 

“We now have to fight to the end to do well in Serie A. It’s natural to feel upset, but we still have objectives in Serie A and the Coppa Italia. We need to turn the page quickly and try to be at 100 per cent for those remaining matches.” 

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