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Allegri happy to win ugly with Juventus

Coach’s comments after frustrating away draw at Villarreal in the Champions League

Villarreal v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Dusan Vlahovic scored within the first minute of Juventus’ first leg Champions League Round of 16 game at Villarreal, but the hosts needed just one error to level the game late on to leave the tie finely poised.

Speaking after the game, coach Massimiliano Allegri was frustrated by Adrien Rabiot’s mistake which allowed the equalizer.

“It was a decisive error, because we were coming off a situation where Vlahovic was half-fouled, we sort of stopped, they sort of stopped, Parejo was left totally alone in the box.

“They had no centre-forward, so couldn’t do long balls, and we knew that we had to be wary of these situations. It was six against one, Rabiot didn’t follow him and we stayed still. We should’ve done better.

“Overall, I’d say the team played well, we risked conceding in the first half, then had chances to score and were caught offside too easily, they had a very high line. There was a really good opportunity late on, their goalkeeper made a good save.”

What was Allegri’s approach going to be for the return leg?

“Now the away goals rule has been abolished, it’s basically a final. We have to win, there’s no other option!”

Vlahovic answered his critics with a quick goal to put the Bianconeri ahead.

“I am happy he played well, as it is not easy against Raul Albiol. This is a Champions League Round of 16, Villarreal have experience, technique and are in good shape, so we couldn’t think of coming here and winning 3-0. We have to take things slowly, one step at a time.”

The fans’ biggest complaint about Allegri continues to be how dull and unattractive his teams can often be.

“It was a game we had to play this way, trying to spread the play, as they brought it into the centre. Unfortunately, we tried to be a bit too pretty and then lost our determination.

“I would prefer to see a Juve that is winning, but less pretty. It’s a matter of taste.”

What changes and adjustments is going to have to make to get Juventus on the winning path again?

“It’s not about making a definitive step. We need to get to know each other better, we have some players out injured. Arthur is good at passing, but doesn’t protect the defence. We need to find a way for the team to get results.

“We must keep working and focus on the next game with Empoli.”