Massimiliano Allegri suggested Juventus will play their second-leg Europa League tie against Sevilla as a final after drawing the first round 1-1 in Turin. The Bianconeri were disappointing for a large period of the opening half and went behind to a Youssef En-Nesyri goal before Federico Gatti snatched a late equaliser in the 97th minute. Addressing the gathered press post-game, Allegri pointed to his teams ability to keep bouncing back after getting knocked down, suggesting he is confident about qualifying from the round, despite Sevilla’s extensive experience in this competition:
“We absolutely did not deserve to lose. In fact we were too confident that we could score goals ourselves. Then after their goal the danger was to concede a second goal. The boys did well and played a good second half. The goal at the end is deserved because of the desire to keep the qualification from the round even more open.”
Are you confident for the return leg?
“I’m confident, because this team has shown time and time again the will to get back up all year long. I’m happy with what the boys did tonight.”
Did you get the full picture of Sevilla?
“There was no lack of elements, because they are an experienced and technical team. With Manchester Unitedthey could score three or four goals and they didn’t move at all. Against these teams you need calmness and lucidity. After 1-0 we took a risk but the boys did well.”
Did you expect more from Di Maria and Vlahovic?
“They played a good game and it was not easy. The changes were important and they gave freshness and added enthusiasm. There are still 4 league games left and hopefully 2 Europa League games, the whole team is focused on that.”
A Juve that struggles to shoot…
“Because there are opponents who are of a high level, it’s not like we’re playing against a third-rate team. We were playing against Sevilla who won 4 Europa League and 2 Uefa Cup. They defended very well, it was not easy to shoot on goal. We could have had easier solutions in the first half where we had important chances.”
Why did you take off Kostic?
“He had a good first half and then he dropped a bit and we needed a player with different characteristics…. With five changes at our disposal sometimes it’s okay to take someone off at halftime.”
Pogba was instrumental….
“Today he did even better than on Sunday. Pogba is not in question, when the game became in Sevilla’s half he helps you make the leap. Maybe if he had started from the first minute he might have struggled more. For us it is important that he decides games.”
A judgment on Iling-Junior?
“He started by losing a few balls, then in the end I reversed the outfielders because Chiesa on the right was struggling a bit.”
What kind of Sevilla do you expect in the return leg?
“A football match where we know there will be a very hot atmosphere. It’s a final and we have every chance to go through.”
“We hope he will score in the return leg if he plays. Physically the team ended up on the rise, this bodes well for the season final.”