Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri says his side are “sorry and angry” following their 4-3 Champions League loss at Benfica on Tuesday. They missed the knockout stages for the first time since 2013/14.
The loss means that struggling Juve will finish in 3rd in the H Group which would guarantee Juve a spot at the Europa League knockout stages.
“More than the wrong approach, I think we were too soft in defence in the first half,” Allegri said to reporters. “We are angry and disappointed as we have been ruled not in the Champions League.
“Now we need to concentrate on the Italian league, but also stay focused on Paris (Saint-Germain the following Wednesday) as we must at the very least booked for a spot at the Europa League.
“We have made many errors tonight, but it’s just not necessary to talk about the mistakes right now. I wouldn’t call this to be a failure. There are defeats too.
“We are sorry and angry. The team finished well so it’s not a physical matter. We must continue working.”
It’s been a dreadful season in the case of Juve at the top of Serie A as they languish in eighth position, 10 points away from the top spot, however, Allegri hopes that Juve’s players can retain the competitive spirit that they displayed in Lisbon to the domestic league.
“Now let’s think about Serie A, let’s start from the last 20 minutes [of this game] and try to win at Lecce [on Saturday]. We must make the effort and continue to work to remain in the championship [race],” Allegri added.
“In the league we have four games before the [World Cup] break. We have to recover our energy, and with the players I have available we must do well.”
The coach called on three teens in the second quarter on Tuesday, and they all caught the attention of the coach, which he believes could be an indication of the future.
“I’m content with the players They are good players. Fabio Miretti has played numerous games, Matias Soule as well as Samuel Iling entered well.
“We could have made better use of some opportunities at the end. But they gave that mental energy the team needed.”