Tuesday September 12 2017
Allegri: 'Juventus were hasty'

Max Allegri felt Juventus were “too hasty” and Gonzalo Higuain “let his head drop” in a 3-0 defeat to Barcelona, but “we had chances.”

The Blaugrana ran riot at Camp Nou in the opening Champions League group game thanks to a Leo Messi brace and Ivan Rakitic.

“The lads had a good game, but when you have chances here, you’ve got to take them. We were punished for the first error, 30 seconds from half-time, when we didn’t close Messi down or foul him,” Allegri told Mediaset Premium.

“After the break we immediately had a great chance with Paulo Dybala, but when the spaces open up, Barcelona become devastating.

“These games have to be played with the mind. Paradoxically, we conceded the first and third goals on counter-attacks when we were trying to go forward.

“It is about having the strength to stay in the game to the end, because you can always get back and even turn it around.”

It looked a very different side from the one that beat Barcelona 3-0 in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final, then drew 0-0 at Camp Nou.

“Last season in Turin, Juventus played a good game and we made the most of our chances in attack. This is another Champions League campaign, we are just at the beginning. We wanted to start the group well, that wasn’t the case, but now we need the three points at home against Olympiacos.”

Higuain was expected to make his mark, but again failed to deliver on the biggest stage.

“Higuain started well. He needs to be more relaxed in these games, as every now and then his head drops. You need mental strength and to stay in the game.

“We cannot think of coming here to dominate Barcelona, as that’s presumptuous, but we had the opportunities to score. Naturally when trailing, you feel tense and try to fight back, but that leaves gaps at the back. We need more patience.

“Medhi Benatia had a good performance in the first half, as did everyone, but it’s difficult to defend against Barcelona when they’ve got open spaces to run into. It’s something we need to work on.

“With the opportunities that we had in the first half and the lack of determination we showed in attack, we could’ve got a result. We had to remain in the game during the second half and not get too hasty. If you leave Messi space to run in, he’s going to score.”

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