Juventus’ extraordinary Coppa Italia run was going to come to an end some time or the other - what was surprising to most of the footballing world was that it would come in such a manner.
The Bianconeri were summarily dismissed by a hungry Atalanta side that pressed with vigour, and Massimiliano Allegri’s side looked old, tired and uninterested in their 3-0 loss in Bergamo.
Speaking after the game, the manager first commented on his sending off which happened soon after Atalanta’s second goal in two minutes late in the first half.
“They were right to send me off, I was nervous and losing my temper at the time. Compliments to the referee, at that moment I paid for my anger.
”These situations create more attention for the next game, I’m sorry for De Sciglio, he had done well up until the mistake. Chiellini came out right away, but injuries are part of the game.
“We had a bad first half on Sunday, then there was a reaction. However, everything went wrong tonight. We gave away the first and third goal.”
Juve were very lucky to beat a similarly-motivated Lazio side over the weekend, and Allegri was unhappy about that as well.
“This result was in the air for a while, frankly. We had players coming back from injuries, others who were out. You can recover one or two games from a negative situation, but you’re going to lose eventually.
“It’s nothing to get dramatic about, as it was just an off day. Atalanta fully deserved to go through and had more verve about them.
“It’s disappointing for us to go out, but it was mad to think Juventus could’ve won every single match this season. We really gave some goals away tonight.”
Allegri went on to defend his players, who were badly outclassed in the first half, not even registering a single shot.
“I don’t see it as any alarm bells to be worried about, because it is impossible to win every game. We wanted to win the Coppa Italia for the fifth time in a row, but Atalanta were very physical and aggressive, so congratulations to them.
“I think a lesson like this can be of use to a team. Last season, we drew with Crotone with a real struggle and then fell to Napoli. You rescue one, you rescue two, you’re going to fall eventually.
“We were simply out of steam. It can happen after such a long successful run. We’ve got Parma on Saturday and they are really strong on the counter-attack too.”
Juve picked up new injury concerns with Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala hobbling off, but will have some reinforcements coming back soon.
“Mario Mandzukic will be back on Saturday, Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic were back tonight. There are those who kept us afloat thus far.”