Juventus boss rues missed chances as star demands quarter-final clash

Grant de Smidt
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri

Old Lady manager Massimiliano Allegri bemoaned his side’s second-half performance and missed chances despite a 1-0 win seeing them finish top of their Champions League group.

Juventus went into the game on the back of a 4-0 humbling away at Chelsea in their previous European match. In order to top the group, they needed to beat Malmo and hope for the Blues to drop points away at Zenit Saint Petersburg.An 18th-minute goal from Moise Kean sealed a 1-0 home win for Juventus.


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Meanwhile, Zenit scored in the 94th minute to take a 3-3 draw against Chelsea and hand Juve top spot. Kean’s goal made him only the second Italian aged 21 or younger to score for the Old Lady in the Champions League.

Allegri told Sky Italia: “It was a great evening for the result, but we wasted too many scoring opportunities. We cannot think we’ll get far if we continue to waste all these chances.

 “We must be more clinical, more determined when we are in front of goal. This is absolutely something we need to improve.”

With a three-month gap until the Champions League knock-out rounds, Allegri immediately turned his attention to the Serie A.

He said: “We’re happy to finish first; it shows that winning is not easy. But let’s put the game aside and think about Venezia on Saturday.

“I’m worried because I didn’t like the second half. But we go into the game with three wins without conceding a goal and on Saturday we play in a field where it is difficult to play.

“As for finishing top, it’s like I said before – being first does not tell us who we will draw. Right now, the only concern is the match against Venezia. Their pitch is very narrow and they are aggressive. We must be organised and focused, above all improving our effectiveness in front of goal.”


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Bonucci demands quarter-final

After securing top spot in Group H, Leonardo Bonucci was honest in his assessment of his side’s standing amongst top clubs.

It’s clear the aims that the 34-year-old has set for himself and his teammates. 

“It would be hypocritical for us to say that Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Liverpool don’t have something more than Juve right now,” said Bonucci in his post-match press conference.

“We can only call upon our best physical and mental shape in the Round of 16 to go forward. The minimum target for Juventus is reaching the last eight of the Champions League.

“Whatever the draw holds for us, and it could be Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, we need to reach those fixtures in the best possible shape. We need to at least reach the quarter-finals.”

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