Massimiliano Allegri came out for his post-match press conference in a combative mood, and did not let up as the questions got more and more pointed after Juventus threw away a dream 2-0 start to draw at home against Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 fixture.
“Football is strange, you can go from a possible 3-0 to 2-1, a possible 3-1 to 2-2. I think we all knew how complicated this would be. Now it’ll be like a Final in London.
“Apart from Gigi Buffon’s save on Harry Kane, Tottenham didn’t have any real chances. In the second half we changed a few things and overall played a good game.
“We conceded the first goal playing out of defence, the second on a free kick. Football gives and it takes away, but I don’t think there’s any need to get depressed.
“If someone thought Juve could win this 4-0, then they were way off track. Perhaps reaching two Finals in three years was damaging to some people.”
Juve were missing a few players but Allegri refused to use that as an excuse and was adamant that the Bianconeri receding into a shell after taking the two-goal lead was not on his instruction.
“Who didn’t play is irrelevant. The team put in a good performance, we took the lead and in the second half were more dangerous than them. Tottenham played very well and when we go to London, they’ll be under more pressure than us.
“They were surprised by our start and had to do something to react. We were pinned back because our wingers were too deep. It’s a pity, we’ll just have to fight for our qualification in London.”
“I didn’t ask the team to go deep, more than anything else we were pushed back by Tottenham. After that 25-minute spell when they pinned us back, we couldn’t get back out.”
Allegri went on to scold fans who were getting down after today’s draw.
“The Champions League is a dream and an objective, but winning it is not easy. I think people have lost some objectivity here. Juve play to win, but they are not the favourites. You can’t reach the Final every year.
“I believe the lads are putting in a fantastic season, but that’s a long way off thinking they can win a Round of 16 game by a 3-0 scoreline.
“This really irritates me, because people have no idea on the dimensions of teams. The primary objective is the Scudetto: that is nothing to be sniffed at and is not easy. Then we’ll try to go forward in the Champions League.
“I will not accept that tonight’s 2-2 draw could depress the Juve fans. There are some scary ups and downs in the mood here.
“We were never the favourites to reach the quarter-final. It was always 50-50 with Tottenham and it still is. People must realise that winning is not normality, it is extraordinary. This team has won six Scudetti and reached two Champions League Finals. It’s a fine line in the Champions League between winning and not winning.
“Next season it will be even more difficult. The best teams reach the Final and Juventus have had three extraordinary campaigns.”