Juventus started off their United States tour with a comfortable win over Liga MX side Chivas Guadalajara last night in Las Vegas. Massimiliano Allegri used a good number of youngsters interspersing them with senior team players for both halves of the game with youth player Marco Da Graca capitalizing on a juicy rebound early in the game to open the scoring, and fellow 20-year-old Mattia Compagnon sealed the win late on with a counter attacking goal as the Mexican side pushed forward seeking an equalizer.
Speaking after the game, the coach commented on his side’s effort.
“It was a good test: the team has also worked hard in Turin these days and you can see the results. The game was approached well and at times even with a good rhythm, both in the first and second half.
“I am satisfied with the Under 23 players and also with the new arrivals, who made their contribution. Now let’s continue like this, because we want to do well in the next friendlies too.”
He went on to comment on Paul Pogba who looked reinvigorated in the middle, as well as Nicolo Fagioli and Federico Gatti.
“Pogba put on a good performance, there are some aspects to work on, he will be one of the symbols of this team. I liked Fagioli and Gatti, who did well in the lead up to the first goal, although obviously he still has some work to do to fit into the defensive mechanisms.”
Striker Da Graca was very pleased to get the start and score the opening goal.
“Indescribable - what a great emotion to have played tonight, to be here and also to have scored. I can only thank Juve for allowing me to take part in this experience. My family watched me from Italy. It was certainly worth it for them to stay awake at night.”
Fellow goalscorer Compagnon was equally thrilled to get the opportunity to play with the first team players.
“Fantastic, this is an experience you can only learn from. Observing these players, day by day, is an incredible opportunity to grow.
“For the goal I read the defender’s movement and moved from left to right. And at the end of the game I received the messages from my family watching the game on TV.”
Veteran Juan Cuadrado was deployed as right back with debutant Angel Di Maria in front of him, and both had strong showings.
The Colombian talked about Allegri’s instructions during training.
“A great evening, even if it was a friendly match for us it is always important to look for the win, and we got it. Chivas are a good team, now we want to do well also in the next matches - it is useful for the season to come. A very strong Juve is forming here, with many quality players, great new arrivals. What is Coach asking of us in recent weeks? To run, run, run!”
Di Maria chose to talk about his teammates Pogba and Mattias Soule.
“A good test, very useful for putting minutes in the legs at this early stage of the season. Pogba? One of the best players in the world, he gives enormous quality to the midfield. Soulé? A great talent - he just needs to be left to work and grow little by little.”