Juventus won 2-1 at home against Lyon but were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals after having lost the first leg in France 1-0. The Bianconeri dominated the game but failed to make the most of their chances in a game that the referee attempted to make his mark in but failed miserably.
Speaking after the game, manager Maurizio Sarri was asked if he had expected more from his Juve side.
“I expected less. I thought we put in a great performance this evening. We went behind to a penalty after 10 minutes that could’ve sent us crazy. We completed the comeback, won the game, created six or seven scoring opportunities.
“The team has revitalised itself over the last few days, and if they weren’t devastated in their confidence by the elimination, I’d be very satisfied with their performance.
“Unfortunately, we went out because of the first leg, in fact the first half of the first leg. It’s a competition that takes no prisoners, as after our great results in the tournament, we are still out.
“I don’t know if you saw PSG-Lyon last week, but Lyon were not as under pressure ever as much as they were in that game. That means we played well and caused them problems.
Juve had looked lethargic for long periods of the summer as the Serie A season came to a close, but were more energetic against Lyon.
“We cannot be in top condition at this time of the year. Unfortunately, we’ve done nothing logical at all this year. We had a month at home, some then who could train, others who were in quarantine, it wasn’t simple to get the whole team working together.
“I felt that the team had recharged itself in the right way this evening. Perhaps we were fuelled by nervous energy and mentality more than physical fitness.
“If I take away the huge disappointment at the elimination, then I am very happy with the team this evening, as they showed character and gave their all. If we hadn’t been eliminated, I’d return home happy tonight.”
Despite already dismissing talk of his future in Turin, the manager was once again asked what he thought would happen when he met with the club’s leadership.
“My words were not difficult to interpret. I don’t think directors of a top level will make a decision based on one match. They are going to evaluate the whole season.
“I find this kind of question offensive, but not towards me, it’s offensive towards the directors. I have a contract, I’ll respect it and I don’t expect anything.”
Paulo Dybala was not expected to be fit for this game, and lasted only ten minutes before leaving with a recurrence of the thigh ailment that had kept him out.
“If I had come here without using Dybala, then I would’ve been asked why I hadn’t risked him. If not tonight, then when? It was a risk, but Douglas Costa was out and Juan Cuadrado had some muscular problems, he was alerting the bench that he was struggling, so we had to use the substitution slot for both Danilo and Dybala.”