Juventus slipped to a 2-0 defeat last night against Real Madrid to close out their United States tour, with the reigning European champions dominating most of the game. In the Bianconeri’s defence, injuries are already playing a part in squad selection and a sprinkling of youngsters on the pitch made for difficult viewing as time and again Juve lost the ball too easily and allowed Real to sustain pressure for long periods.
Speaking after the game, coach Massimiliano Allegri was not discouraged by his side’s performance.
“A good match that concluded a good 10-days’ work in the United States.
“We were up against the strongest team in Europe, and as long as it was possible to play, we did, trying to manage possession and not give the ball away. I am satisfied with the effort from the lads, we can still grow a lot though, and there are players who have still to return.
“Tonight there were chances for both sides and we should have managed ours with a little more patience. Now we have a couple of days’ rest and then back to work because the season is approaching.”
Starting goalkeeper Mattia Perin put in one of the best performances he has in a Juventus shirt, repelling wave after wave of Real forwards, making a couple of excellent saves.
“We are working well, absorbing a new playing system. I have seen a great willingness from everyone. The group is growing but it takes time and games like these are fundamental because there are real friendlies anymore - in front of opponents like Real you always want to win.
“What impression did I have of the opposition? A team that has memorised each movement, and that’s exactly the point we want to reach. We’re working towards this. I’m fine physically and mentally charged up.”
Midfielder Manuel Locatelli continues to be at the heart of everything Juve do, marshaling the defence and pushing the ball forward in attack.
“It was a good test. We are disappointed for the result, but I have seen plenty of positives. The team is working and coming on well ahead of the start of the season. We can’t hide that we must get back to winning and we’re working towards this goal. I have to say that the work we are doing is excellent. There is a good atmosphere and it was a really useful and positive tour.”
Youngster Giovanni Garofani spoke about his experiences being part of the pre-season tour, and reserved special comment for Juve’s top striker Dusan Vlahovic.
“For me it was not just an experience, it was an experience par excellence. I learned a lot from the goalkeepers and coaches, who gave me the chance to touch my dreams. A truly incredible opportunity to develop. One thing that struck me in training? Vlahovic’s ability to change aim at speed - unbelievable!”