Wednesday February 20 2019
Allegri: 'Atleti force Juve to play badly'

Max Allegri felt Juventus fell into the Atletico Madrid trap, as “they force you to play badly. We got it wrong in the second half, but 2-0 can be overturned.”

The Bianconeri had a great deal of possession at the Wanda Metropolitano, but nowhere near enough chances and were rescued twice by VAR when a penalty was revoked for being outside the box and Alvaro Morata goal was disallowed for a push on Giorgio Chiellini.

They were undone by two late goals, both from the failure to effectively clear dead ball situations.

“The second half was ugly, as we made the mistake of following their lead. Atleti are very good at letting a game go by without a shot on goal,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We had already run a risk on a counter from a ball we gave away, but we didn’t have a shot on target in the second half. Atleti came out much more aggressively on set plays and caught us by surprise.

“Now we have the chance to turn this around, we must have faith, we’ll have some players back and there’s no point crying over spilt milk. We knew it was going to be tough, that Atletico Madrid force you to play badly, with a slow tempo. We moved the ball quicker in the first half, but not in the second.

“We got the approach wrong in the second half. It’s that simple. These things can happen, there will be great disappointment after this 2-0, but we can turn it around. It won’t be easy, we need a great second leg, but it can be done and we must have faith.”

Alessandro Del Piero and Fabio Capello both said Atleti played with a Champions League tempo and Juventus did not.

“You have to move the ball quickly and precisely against Atleti to open up the spaces. We didn’t do that as much in the second half and after the second goal we lost our organisation, risking a third goal, that is not acceptable.

“Fortunately we didn’t concede a third, because 2-0 is a result that can be easily turned around. We’re not dead yet, we weren’t dead after losing 2-0 at home to Real Madrid, let alone now we’ve got the second leg at home.

“It’s important to maintain the focus, organisation and keep our heads, because everything can be overturned.”

Both goals were practically identical, set plays that were not cleared and a centre-back pounced on the rebound.

“We got accustomed to their bland tempo and at the same time didn’t defend well, so at those moments they suddenly changed gear and became more determined than us. They’ve been doing this for eight years, it’s not new.

“Atleti do this all the time, they make you play in bland fashion. We didn’t concede on moves, because Atletico don’t really score those goals. They score on the counter and on set plays. The difference was that they are accustomed to this type of game and we are not.”

Considering how solid Atletico Madrid are in defence, how can Juve score at least two goals in Turin and not concede?

“I don’t know what I’ll do for the second leg, as I don’t know what men I’ll have available. You can’t catch Atletico Madrid out in the open, because they never play like that, they defend in blocks. You need patience, to move the ball around quickly and precisely to force the openings.”

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