Manager Massimiliano Allegri was bombarded with questions about that game earlier today, but he chose to strike an optimistic note -
“We have 20 days to prepare for this match with great enthusiasm, the maximum adrenaline rush and it must be a wonderful evening. I don’t know if we’ll go through or not, but we have to do everything to make it happen.
“That also means winning the next three Serie A games to ensure we’re in the best condition come March 12. Tomorrow we face a Bologna side with a new Coach who have a different spark about them now.
“I say we are fortunate to experience these next 20 days, because life is made of these things. If we won every game, life would become flat and boring.”
He went on to talk about the Spanish side and how his team came undone.
“It wasn’t easy before the first leg result, it won’t be easy on March 12, as we are up against an Atletico Madrid side that has won a great deal over the last nine years. I don’t know if the ball will go in or not, if we’ll qualify or go out, but the important thing is to give it our all, because on March 12 it is THE challenge.
“If we were to play Atleti again this Wednesday, for example, we’d certainly get eliminated. We need this period to recuperate and sort issues out, bit by bit. I like this sort of experience more than a 0-0 draw. Now we can go out there and see what happens.”
Is the season a failure if Juve don’t make it to the next round of the Champions League?
“This is hardly a bad season, though, as Juve have won the Supercoppa, were knocked out of the Coppa Italia and now we’ve got the Champions League, where once you reach the knockouts, anything can happen.
“The only certainty I have is that we’ll be ready on March 12. I think we’ve got a good chance of qualification. We must turn what happened in Madrid into an opportunity to do something extraordinary.
“I’ve enjoyed myself so far at Juventus, as we won eight out of nine trophies in Italy. I had fun. The moment I no longer have fun is the moment I stop.
“Right now, we just need to keep quiet, as quite rightly the fans and newspapers are free to criticise and might even help recharge our batteries.
“Expectations are higher this year, so there is a little disappointment and frustration, but it shouldn’t be, because there is a game to be played still. We’ve got to get the adrenaline pumping and await March 12 with enthusiasm.
“Life is like that, you need ups and downs for it to be interesting. It’s not as if the Scudetto is just handed to us, we have to earn it week by week. Bringing home trophies in any season is not easy and that has to be made clear.”
Miralem Pjanic looked flat on Wednesday, and has been struggling with flu symptoms and a fever.
“Pjanic is half-dead right now and was being practically given the last rites, so I currently have two-and-a-half midfielders.
“I need to evaluate whether to rest Cristiano Ronaldo. The only thing I know for sure now is that Mattia Perin will start. Giorgio Chiellini needs to be evaluated too. Joao Cancelo will play tomorrow. I don’t know where he’ll play, but he’ll play.
“We could use Mario Mandzukic, Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, even all three plus Federico Bernardeschi. It depends on how all the others are doing. Tomorrow we’ll use the best line-up available to win that game.
“This season, there were some setbacks we could not have imagined, ruling out Emre Can, Juan Cuadrado, Douglas Costa and Sami Khedira. You can’t plan for those. Naturally, in the long run, it takes a toll on the players who had to fill in.”