Juventus were comprehensively beaten in London by a Chelsea side that swarmed and pressed them into utter submission, falling into second place in Group H in the Champions League with one more round to play in the group stages.
This is one of those games where the less said the better, and coach Massimiliano Allegri tried to keep a brave face after the Bianconeri’s worst hiding in Champions League history.
“I think the first half was good. After the break, they continued their press, while we were a bit too weak on the second and third goals.
“We allowed a few too many corners, where they are strong physically. We had a few situations where we could’ve done better. It’s disappointing to concede four goals, but the objective was achieved and now we must think about Saturday’s game with Atalanta.”
After watching his side come off second best in just about every thing they did in this game, Allegri attempted to explain where things went wrong.
“There were moments when we gave the ball away too cheaply by trying to make vertical passes too quickly rather than keeping the ball. We do that often and need to work on that, because you can’t do it against the reigning champions of Europe.
“The team was by no means bad in the first half. After the break, we lost confidence after the errors for the second and third goals.”
Allegri had talked about how Romelu Lukaku not playing would change Chelsea’s attack since they didn’t have a focal point, but it did look like his side forgot completely how to defend or indeed even hold the ball against the press instead of it getting easier.
“It’s not that it made it easier, it’s that they had a completely different tactical approach. We were much more focused with our defending for 90 minutes in Turin, whereas here we rather let go after 45.
“In any case, we have qualified with two games to spare and can now focus on the next match. Today I congratulated the lads on reaching the Champions League Round of 16.
“It’s not as if after beating Lazio we have become the best team in Europe. We have limitations, there’s no denying it, and we will work on them to improve.”
Captain on the day Leonardo Bonucci didn’t pull any punches either.
“It’s a heavy defeat, certainly, we have to take the lesson that against these teams you must always go at 1,000km/h, because the moment you slow it down, they punish you.
“We tried in the second half to close down their moves down the flanks, but we weren’t focused enough on those two balls they put in from wide.
“It is important we learn the lessons from this game, which is that against these teams, you cannot lower the intensity or concentration for a moment.
“We conceded the first goal from a corner, it might’ve been handball. We should’ve controlled it better in the second half, as they caused us so many problems.”
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny made a number of good saves, but there was little he could do for any of the four goals that went past him.
“Unfortunately, tonight we saw the difference between the two teams. They are the best team in Europe, the reigning champions of Europe and today we were unable to challenge them in any way. It hurts, it really hurts.
“On Saturday there’s a head-to-head with Atalanta in Serie A, it is very important, we must put this behind us and focus on that game.”
This season has seen Juve going up and down like a rollercoaster, are the Bianconeri on another downward turn again?
“I get the sensation we have found our balance, it’s just that tonight we put in a tragic performance and were punished by four goals.
“You can lose, but I struggle to accept losing like this.”