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Allegri: We’ve achieved nothing yet

Manager calls for calm despite big Juventus win over Barcelona

Juventus v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: First Leg
Massimiliano Allegri
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Despite a big 3-0 win for Juventus over Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal, manager Massimiliano Allegri insisted that the real work was yet to do.

“We are midway through because there are 45 days to the end of the season. Right now we haven’t won the Scudetto, Coppa Italia or reached the Champions League semi-final.

“What tonight’s game must do is give us more confidence and awareness of what this squad can achieve.

“It’s right to be happy with what we’ve done, but also to keep our feet on the ground and a sense of balance, as we’ve achieved nothing yet.

“Barcelona put six past Paris Saint-Germain, so we know it’s a complicated match. As I said yesterday, we need to make the most of our strengths and Barcelona’s weaknesses.”

He did acknowledge that today’s win would certainly catch the attention of the continent, admitting it was a goal of his.

“We must be aware that it was a great performance, we played well technically both in attack and defence. It is the first step towards the semi-final, the second leg will be a different matter.

“I am not capable of saying what our percentages are. In Barcelona we are going to have to play aiming to score goals.

“I am a dreamer, but also pragmatic and a realist. We’re on a growth process, I am happy with what the lads are doing and we’ve made important steps forward over the last few years.

“Juventus have respect for Europe and above all are respected in Europe. That is the greatest result of my three years here.”

On the game itself, Allegri was pleased with the team defence that his side showed.

“We had several chances in the first half, moving the ball around and forcing them to shift, but we got a bit too greedy for an extra pass. That’s something we need to work on and improve for the second leg.

“Juventus deserve credit, as everyone contributed to the defence by cutting off the passing channels and trajectories, otherwise when the ball is at the feet of Messi, Iniesta or Suarez, you’re going to have trouble.

“We were sharp, with good passing moves, but could’ve done better and in some moments tried to make vertical passes too often.

“The lads entertained everyone in the stadium and got a good result, but we mustn’t get distracted from the reality of the situation. We have to prepare for Pescara and ensure we win the Scudetto, fortunately I have a big squad and the decisive figures may well be those who didn’t play tonight.

“Dybala showed his quality with an extraordinary performance, though everyone was excellent tonight. His finishing was great, but I am happy for him as I am for all the players.

“There were a lot of expectations around this side to see if they were up to a quarter-final. It was a psychological test and we need to improve how we perform with this system.”