Massimiliano Allegri feels Juventus performed well in their 1-1 draw with Sporting, despite ‘suffering’ at the end of the match. A goal from Adrien Rabiot set them on their way, and despite conceding a penalty, the Bianconeri progressed to the semi-finals of the Europa 2-1 over the two legs. Speaking with Sky Sport Italia (as quoted by TuttoJuve) at the end of the match, Allegri broke down the phases of the game, highlighted the importance of a three-man midfield, in particular the play of Adrien Rabiot:
A good day for Juventus: the 15 points returned and a semifinal won with great suffering, even at the end…
“It was a good day, especially the qualification of the round, with difficulty, at the end we suffered. We played a good game especially in the second half, at the beginning we did some good things, we have to do better in the final phase. But I would say the boys performed well, we knew the difficulties, we were a little bit lucky at the end and we brought home this good result, on a day where we were given back the 15 points in the standings. Now we have to put aside the Europa League for two weeks and dive into the league, because we of the last four games, we’ve lost three. It’s also true that we made a lot of efforts and the standings conditioned us a bit, but now we need to confirm ourselves in the top 4 of the standings.”
Did you expect more from Chiersa? Several counterattacks were badly wasted….
“No, no, everyone did well, those who did a little better … let’s say that the three in the middle of the pitch really played a good game today.”
You will face Sevilla who eliminated Manchester United. What kind of team is that?
“I expected Sevilla sincerely, because anyway they are a tough team, they play well, they dribble, they are a club that has won so many Europa Leagues, so they have advantages. The signs in the last game were in Sevilla’s favor, then in football everything is there but my feeling was that Sevilla would go though.”
The three-man midfield is crucial to support the front three….
“Apart from the fact that I really like to play with the three midfielders, then by characteristics of the players I have at my disposal … against Sporting there was a need to open up the game. We did well but sometimes we were rushing this play inside the area. Instead when you are there, you have to have the patience to wait a moment. We shoot too little from outside the box, that’s something that needs to be improved. Behind Alex Sandro everything is a little bit more stationary and Cuadrado is free to go. With Chiesa up front it’s normal that he doesn’t need as much overlapping and tonight he was busy, he was also good on the pitch at a tactical level.”
Did you expect this Rabiot?
“He has the quality but he can still improve, sometimes he gets close to the area and doesn’t shoot. He has to improve but he did it in his dribbling and became important, extraordinary.”