Tuesday April 14 2015
Allegri: 'Pirlo was decisive'

Max Allegri felt Juventus “deserved” the 1-0 victory over Monaco and explained why he picked a half-fit Andrea Pirlo.

This was the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals and the decider will be in the Principality on April 22.

“The result is good, as we didn’t concede on home turf and that is a small advantage,” Coach Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

“It will be different in Monaco, but they proved how organised they are in defence today with pace and technique in attack.

“They above all caused us problems in the first 15 minutes, as we waited for the pass between the lines rather than have the patience to wait for the right trajectory to open up.”

Pirlo was a surprise starter, thrown in after a calf injury in February.

“Pirlo had a good 70 minutes, which is excellent considering he hadn’t played for 50 days. Set plays can be decisive in these games and I needed great quality on the passes to break through those tiny spaces, and in fact his pass was decisive for the penalty.

“Carlos Tevez had also been out for six days, so he too wasn’t quite as sharp as usual.”

When Pirlo did come off, he was replaced by Andrea Barzagli for a change to the 3-5-2 system.

“Berbatov came on and could cause us problems in the air, so I preferred a more physical player at the back and an extra defender. We had several chances to add more goals, but often made the wrong final pass.

“Overall I think the result is deserved. Obviously, it’s a quarter-final, so anyone who thought we’d win 3-0 was kidding themselves. They have the strongest defence in the Champions League and Ligue 1.

“I am always optimistic, but we know that we need to score in Monaco to go forward. This is a tough side to play against and paradoxically it was easier against Borussia Dortmund because of their style of football.

“Monaco know their limitations and therefore play to stop the opposition playing. It means waiting a little longer and making an extra five or six passes to find the right breakthrough.

“It’s only normal there was pressure around this game, especially as we were the favourites, but we were too hasty and therefore made simple mistakes with our passing. In these situations, you must always have the patience and calm to play your game.”