Max Allegri admitted he was “very angry” with Miralem Pjanic despite Juventus’ 2-0 win at Monaco to put one foot in the Champions League final.
The first leg Champions League semi-final result was decided by a Gonzalo Higuain brace, both courtesy of Dani Alves assists.
“We must compliment the squad, because it was absolutely not easy. Monaco have a lot of technique. We made a few too many mistakes and Buffon made a great save when it was 0-0,” the Juve Coach told Mediaset Premium.
“Once we took the lead, there were a few dangerous crosses when Dani Alves was late coming out, then Andrea Barzagli, but overall we should be happy. There is still the second leg to be played and that’s another serious match.”
Referring to his decision to drop Juan Cuadrado, Allegri once again demonstrated he is one step ahead of opponents.
“It’s very simple. With Sami Khedira suspended and Monaco’s danger on the counter, I needed a player who could do more preventative marking. I also needed someone strong in the air like Barzagli, who had an extraordinary game, as Claudio Marchisio is not good with headers.”
Buffon has now kept a clean sheet for 621 minutes of Champions League football and made a string of good saves to keep the Ligue 1 leaders at bay.
“When the going gets tough, you know Gigi can be relied upon. He’s the best in the world and when there is a big game, he’s always ready.
“I think we did very well at the start, then Monaco’s quality players caused problems and we followed our man too many times, especially Mario Mandzukic, whereas we should’ve held our positions.
“We did better in the second half, except for when Dani Alves got a big caught up in his desire to push forward and left two against one for Barzagli.
“We could’ve played better technically, but we scored a goal on the counter, which is Monaco’s greatest strength. They are a tough side to take on, they play with vertical lines and you need to either pass it forward or, if you can’t manage that, pass it back to keep possession.”
Allegri also talked about Dani Alves and Miralem Pjanic, who have settled in after a rough patch at the beginning of their careers in the Bianconeri colours.
“There’s no secrets, it was just a matter of settling in. Dani Alves had some injury problems, needed to get to know his teammates, the environment and the tactical systems. His assists today for the two goals were excellent.
“I am very angry with Pjanic, because he can become one of the three best midfielders in the world, but every now and then when he gets a pass wrong, he acts like it’s the end of the world. He needs to stay calm and relax, because his potential is only partially expressed.
“The lads are having a great season, in order to make it extraordinary we need to be calm and focused.”