Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri was in no mood for platitudes after the he watched his side frustrated by a resolute Sevilla side to a 0-0 home draw in the first matchday of this season’s Champions League.
Irritated by the tone of questioning from the media, Allegri defended his side’s performance on the day -
“The performance was good. In the first half we struggled to get the ball back, but their pressing game inevitably fell away after the break.
“The 0-0 is only disappointing because some people were expecting us to win 3-0. In Europe we need to stay calm, as here some are flying from euphoria to depression. Sevilla didn’t have a single shot on target.
“Juve haven’t won the Champions League for 20 years. We did well on the market, but so did many clubs: it doesn’t mean we will win every single game.
“It is crazy to say Juventus are the absolute favourites to win the Champions League. That was never the case.
“Juve had seven chances to score and normally that’d be enough to win, as Sevilla did not have a single shot on target. The team should not feel disappointed with the performance.
“It’s the first time I haven’t won the opening game of a Champions League group phase, so maybe it’ll bring us luck.”
Allegri came under fire for some of his tactical decisions, including bringing on Miralem Pjanic with just over twenty minutes left to play -
“I have a squad of great players and at times I need to change them. It was a choice and then I modified it because I thought I needed more quality close to the box.
“Dybala plays the same position as last year, he’s just a little tired. In the second half we took control of the game and were just missing a goal.
“Kwadwo Asamoah gave us something more when defending. I introduced Marko Pjaca at the end because his pace could be more dangerous than the physicality of Mario Mandzukic.
“We are absolutely not let down by this result. We know that we’ve got every chance of progressing.”
He insisted that all hope was not lost and this was only one game -
“This was a difficult match due to the Sevilla pressing, though we played a different game in the second half.
“We were unable to get the victory, it is more difficult in Europe and we are disappointed. We need to improve our performance and passing, but there’s everything to suggest we can.”