UEFA Champions League


Massimiliano Allegri was full of praise for his side after a commanding performance earned Juve a 2-0 success at the Estadio Do Dragao.

“We struggled in the first five minutes but that was it. After that we took charge and bossed proceedings, even when it was still 11 v 11,” the coach told journalists following the Bianconeri's last-16 first-leg triumph in Porto. “Even when you're playing against a team with ten men a lot of the time you don't have that man advantage when you attack. Porto battened down the hatches but we used the wide areas intelligently. We could even have had a third but it's still an excellent result to take into the return leg. The lads were on the ball tonight and everyone played their part - that's vital as we go into the business end of the season still chasing three targets. There's plenty of room for improvement but what we must never lose is our desire, enthusiasm and confidence. We're not an easy side to play against in space. We've got skilful, pacy players who can cause havoc for the opposition. Our passing could be a bit more free-flowing. We shift the ball around pretty well but we could do it even better. We don't look to play it forward enough.”

Allegri also commented on Marko Pjaca's progress, after the Croatian scored the all-important opener in Portugal: “I've noticed a change in Marko in the last few days – a big change. He's realised that he needs to lift his game and there's been a very clear difference. He's young and youngsters need time, patience and advice.”

(Photo LaPresse)