Juventus showed a lot more fight than they had for most of the season, certainly in the Champions League where they finished the group stage with an ignominious record of one win and five losses, but were undone by two moments of magic from PSG in a 2-1 defeat.
Thanks to the heavier beating inflicted by Benfica on Maccabi Haifa though, the Portuguese side went through as Group H winners while the Bianconeri slipped into the Europa League through the backdoor despite their loss.
Speaking after the game, coach Massimiliano Allegri spoke about his first group stage elimination in this tournament during either of his Juventus tenures.
“We had a good game, it’s a pity about the result.
“We are in the Europa League and from tomorrow we turn over a new leaf to focus on Serie A. We should be fired up, angry and get right back to work. There is a part of us that should be satisfied at achieving the Europa League spot, but another part has to be angry, because we cannot just let this elimination slide.”
An injury-struck and desperately-weakened Juve side took the game to PSG, controlling phases of play but failing to find that finishing touch in the opposing box. Another positive however was Federico Chiesa finally returning to action after a knee injury sustained in January.
“He had a good training session yesterday, I had a few doubts over his mental strength after so many months out, but he seemed calm and focused, so I felt inspired to bring him on. He is so eager and we need to just get him back gradually before the break for the World Cup, so he can be in the best shape come January.”
There is another big game for the Bianconeri coming up this weekend, with Inter Milan visiting Turin, and Allegri will be boosted by the return of three starters.
“We had various problems with injuries, there is a tough game on Sunday against what I believe to be the best team in Italy. We will have Bremer, Vlahovic and Di Maria back for that match.”