Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri dismissed criticism of his team after their Champions League draw with Tottenham, saying it was “crazy” their opponents were being underestimated.
Gonzalo Higuain scored an early brace in the first leg of the last-16 tie in Turin on Tuesday but missed a penalty late in the opening half.
Harry Kane had already pulled a goal back for Spurs, who earned a 2-2 draw thanks to a Christian Eriksen strike in the second half.
Allegri, who expects Paulo Dybala and Blaise Matuidi back for the return leg, said expectations Juve would kill off the tie in Turin were misplaced.
“Juventus play to win the Champions League but we are not the favourites to win it. And it’s impossible to reach the final every year,” he said.
“We are doing our best and my players should be happy because they are having an amazing season. And I’m also happy for what they are doing. We know that we need to improve.
“We still have a good chance to qualify in London, but it’s totally crazy to think that Juventus has to win 3-0 in the round of 16 in the Champions League.
“It’s something that makes me crazy because you aren’t able to analyse how good teams are in the Champions League. I cannot accept that people think this 2-2 result against Tottenham can make us depressed.”
Triplice fischio all’Allianz Stadium: 2-2 nell’andata degli Ottavi tra Juve e @SpursOfficial, alla doppietta di @G_Higuain rispondono Kane ed Eriksen.#JuveTOT #UCL #TOGETHER pic.twitter.com/0BWkBHDcux
— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) February 13, 2018
Juve have been runners-up in two of the past three Champions Leagues, but have work to do against Tottenham.
Allegri said his side were never favourites against Spurs as he prepares for a “final” in the second leg at Wembley next month.
“We had a 50 per cent chance before and we still have 50 per cent. Tottenham are amazing,” he said.
“Anyway, football is weird because [Gianluigi] Buffon saved us at 2-0, then we had the chance to go ahead 3-0. We didn’t, then they scored for 2-1. After that we had the chance for 3-1 with the penalty but Higuain missed it.
“We knew that it was going to be a difficult match. We are facing Tottenham in the Champions League, a really physical and technical team.
“Now, in London it will be a final and we will have to fight to go through.”
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