Monday, April 22, 2019

Juventus did not counter Ajax enough – Allegri

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 10 Apr 2019

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Massimiliano Allegri believes his Juventus players did not do enough to hurt Ajax during their 1-1 Champions League quarter-final first leg draw on Wednesday.

The runaway Serie A leaders were second best for much of the first half but went into the break ahead after Cristiano Ronaldo’s superb header moments before the interval.

They were caught off guard at the start of the second period, however, as David Neres found the leveller that Ajax’s enterprising play deserved.

Allegri concedes that his side were on the back foot for much of the contest and says he would have liked his players to have eased the pressure by hitting the hosts on the break.

“Ajax are in the quarter-finals, they pass it very well in tight spaces and push a lot of men forward,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“They were pressing us hard and created spaces, but we didn’t hit them on the counter as much as we should’ve done.

“I don’t think we were distracted on the goal, but we did concede straight after the break and Ajax gained confidence, while we were a little in shock.

“I introduced more technically-gifted players [Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa] as it was time to work our way out of their pressing with more precision and technique.”

Daniele Rugani replaced the injured Giorgio Chiellini at the heart of Juve’s defence alongside Leonardo Bonucci and Allegri says he was delighted with his contribution.

“I was confident Rugani would do well as he’s one of the best defenders in Italy,” he explained. “He is extraordinary when defending but just needs to improve a little when building from the back.”

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