Monday March 5 2018
Rugani: 'Juve believe to the end'

Daniele Rugani warned Tottenham Hotspur that Juventus “believe to the end. These aren’t just words, they are in our DNA.”

The Bianconeri are fresh from a last-gasp 1-0 win at Lazio in Serie A and on Wednesday travel to London for the Champions League Round of 16.

As the first leg ended 2-2 in Turin, they must either win or play a score draw of 2-2 and above.

“On Wednesday, the details will be fundamental,” Rugani told JTV. “I think it’ll be a more open game compared to the one against Lazio, who defended very deep with everyone behind the ball.

“In theory, English teams ought to behave differently… We start from that 2-2 home result and must give more than 100 per cent, because it’ll take an extraordinary performance to win.”

Juventus beat Lazio in stoppages with Paulo Dybala’s strike, but centre-back Rugani provided the unexpected assist.

“Dybala scored the goal all by himself and was phenomenal to get it in the net. After the goal, we joked and I told him it’d count as an assist from me.

“I don’t know if that win will be decisive, seeing as there is a long way to go, but it was an important moment, especially with Napoli losing to Roma.

“Our strength is this: we believe to the end. These aren’t just words, but they are in our DNA and we proved that in a tough game against a difficult side who defend well and have quick strikers dangerous on the counter-attack. We knew the risks, having lost to them twice before this season.

“We’ve now gone back to defending like Juve. Solidity was always our main characteristic and it’s not just down to the defenders. When there are such drastic improvements, it’s the whole team that contributes, starting from the work done by the forwards.”

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