Juventus dropped a 3-0 decision at Barcelona in their first game of the group stages of the Champions League. After the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri was unhappy about the team’s overall performance.
“The lads had a good game, but when you have chances here, you’ve got to take them. We were punished for the first error, 30 seconds from half-time, when we didn’t close Messi down or foul him.
“After the break we immediately had a great chance with Paulo Dybala, but when the spaces open up, Barcelona become devastating.
“These games have to be played with the mind. Paradoxically, we conceded the first and third goals on counter-attacks when we were trying to go forward.
“It is about having the strength to stay in the game to the end, because you can always get back and even turn it around.”
The result was very different from five months ago when Juve came here protecting a 3-0 lead from the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.
“Last season in Turin, Juventus played a good game and we made the most of our chances in attack. This is another Champions League campaign, we are just at the beginning. We wanted to start the group well, that wasn’t the case, but now we need the three points at home against Olympiacos.”
Star striker Gonzalo Higuain was mostly insignificant in today’s clash.
“Higuain started well. He needs to be more relaxed in these games, as every now and then his head drops. You need mental strength and to stay in the game.”
On how his side appeared to collapse in the second half -
“We cannot think of coming here to dominate Barcelona, as that’s presumptuous, but we had the opportunities to score. Naturally when trailing, you feel tense and try to fight back, but that leaves gaps at the back. We need more patience.”
The defence has come in for a lot of criticism so far this season.
“Medhi Benatia had a good performance in the first half, as did everyone, but it’s difficult to defend against Barcelona when they’ve got open spaces to run into. It’s something we need to work on.
“With the opportunities that we had in the first half and the lack of determination we showed in attack, we could’ve got a result. We had to remain in the game during the second half and not get too hasty. If you leave Messi space to run in, he’s going to score.”