Juventus bowed out of the Champions League at the Round of 16 stage for the third straight year, and didn’t even have away goals to blame this time either. Visitors Villarreal capitalized on Juventus trying to push forward late on scoring thrice in the last fifteen minutes to win 3-0 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.
After the disappointing exit coach Massimiliano Allegri was apoplectic at claims from the media that this season was disastrous.
“If you have intellectual dishonesty, you read it in a way, but the reality is different. Do you understand?
“I knew that people would talk about a failure in case of elimination, but that’s intellectual dishonesty. I know the value of team. We’ve been using the same players for two months, we are in the race for the top four and the Coppa Italia. I have nothing to reproach the guys. They are doing extraordinary things.
“The season is ongoing, we have targets to reach. We are disappointed and we’ll make our assessments to improve the team. We do that every year. We also need to be realists. There are ten teams in Europe superior to Juventus. It’s no shame, it’s a fact.
“I agree that we had to qualify today, but it was not easy. It’s useless to talk now, we must remain quiet, focus on the league and the Coppa Italia to see if we can take a trophy at home.”
When asked how he would have approached today’s game given a chance at a do-over, Allegri insisted he wouldn’t change a thing.
“I would play it the same way, as the lads did well for 65 minutes. At a certain point, Villarreal put everyone in defence and only an incident could break that deadlock.
“We have to accept this defeat, it’s ugly, but I cannot complain about the lads, as they played well.”
The coach looked angry at the final whistle, and was asked who the object of his frustration was.
“I wasn’t angry with anyone. I congratulate Emery, as he had the right approach, it was one of his usual games. Look, let’s move on, controversy won’t help anyone.
“This is football, sometimes they go in your favour, sometimes against you, it’s just about accepting that.”
Regarding comments that he should have been more aggressive early on in this game, Allegri again insisted he did all the right things.
“We tried to move the ball around, Villarreal had nine men behind the ball and didn’t even try to counter at one stage.
“We had our chances in the first half, they were aiming to either take this to extra time or make the most of incidents. We were naïve on the penalty, then rather than turning it around, we conceded another two goals and lost control of the match.”