Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has played down the significance of his side’s heavy defeat at the hands of Chelsea on Tuesday night.
The Bianconeri succumbed to their biggest Champions League defeat ever at Stamford Bridge as the European champions blitzed past the visitors by a 4-0 scoreline. The result means that Thomas Tuchel’s side now top Group H despite Juve heading into Matchday 5 with a 100% record. The Blues will now have to slip up at Zenit for Juve to have a chance of topping the group.
Despite the humiliation, Allegri has played down the significance of the defeat, specifically in the context of the group standings.
Allegri calm after Stamford Bridge humbling
“Sorry for the defeat but the first place or a second-place doesn’t matter a lot,” Allegri said post-match.
Juventus have topped their respective group in the past two Champions League campaigns before going on to fall at the first hurdle to inferior opposition in the knockout phase. The Bianconeri were beaten by Lyon in the round of 16 under Maurizio Sarri and knocked out by Porto at the same stage earlier this year.
However, should they finish second on this occasion, Juve could face Manchester City, Liverpool or Bayern Munich in the last 16. It’s fair to say that this Bianconeri outfit wouldn’t be able to lay a glove on any of those sides right now.
Allegri happy with the first-half performance against Chelsea
Speaking to Sky Sports Italy (via @JuveFC) after the game, Allegri said he was content with his side’s first-half performance despite going in at half-time a goal down.
“We had a good first half, in the second half they put the pressure on and we conceded two soft goals. But in the first half, we did well,” the manager analysed.
Strikes from Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi in quick succession then put the game beyond the beleaguered visitors early in the second half before Timo Werner added a fourth on his return to action in stoppage time.
The performance and result starkly contrasted Juve’s 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture. A rediscovery of the vintage Bianconeri grinta helped Allegri’s side over the line that night and the manager said Juve “played a different game” in the September contest, describing them as “more attentive” on that occasion.
On Tuesday night, Allegri accused his side of “giving up” in the second period.
“I congratulated the boys for the passage to the next round, we have not become the strongest [team] in Europe after Lazio. We need calm and balance. We know our strengths and weaknesses. We have limits and we know it, we have to improve,” the manager concluded.