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Allegri: I have nothing to reproach my players

Manager’s comments after disappointing loss in the Champions League

Juventus v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

It ended up being exactly the same as Cardiff after all.

Juventus lost 3-0 at home to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal, a game that got away from the Bianconeri as early as the third minute.

Afterwards a visibly defeated Massimiliano Allegri spoke of the individual errors that led to the downfall of Juve.

“When you play against these sides, you need a little bit of luck too and above all to find Ronaldo on a bad night. We were a little passive and static on the first goal, then played well for an hour.

“Although we lost 3-0, the team did play very well for an hour against a side that is devastating with the final ball. It’s no coincidence they’ve won three of the last four Champions League trophies.

“We had the chance to equalise, didn’t take it and the ball went inches wide. I am disappointed with the third goal, because we should’ve tried to hold it at 2-0 and then try to achieve something remarkable in Madrid.

“Now we have to focus on the rest of the season, as we have a Scudetto and a Coppa Italia to play for, then we’ll see in the second leg.”

What was different today against eleven months ago?

“I thought our approach had improved, but once we went down to 10 men and Ronaldo had scored an incredible goal, it became impossible.

“Up until their second goal, we had defended very well and allowed Real very little. There was this misunderstanding and we were made to pay. All three goals could’ve been avoided, really, but in these games if you don’t have a little bit of luck and the opposition do, it becomes difficult.

“Playing against Real Madrid and thinking of keeping two clean sheets is just about impossible, so you have to try to score goals. The team did well, Dybala had that chance, but Ronaldo scored with a half-chance. He has found the net in his last 10 Champions League games, so it’s not a surprise.

“The 3-0 result is disappointing, above all as Sergio Ramos will be suspended for the second leg, so with 2-0 we could’ve had some hope.”

Allegri reiterated that despite the disappointment which virtually eliminates Juve from this premier European competition, the season was not over.

“We’ve got the Scudetto and Coppa Italia to play for, so we’ll think about that from tomorrow.

“I have nothing to reproach my players, as we were up against the best centre-forward in the world and paid for a few mistakes.

“We have to lift our heads, think about the Serie A race and then go to Madrid to play our game.”

“I understand the disappointment. That’s right. But I struggle to reproach a team that has tried, against the best in the world.

“In sport and in life there are those who prove to be better: they applaud him, and continue to work to become like him. Now we must get back on our feet quickly!”