“Those who expected this tie to be a formality were mistaken: Sevilla are a different animal in front of their own fans. The important thing is to take a step back and look at our performance this evening, which was good across the whole team. We need to turn our attentions now to a testing fixture at the weekend against Fiorentina.”
A typically concise and accurate account from Massimiliano Allegri of the Bianconeri’s showing in the south of Spain and indeed of their season as a whole. On an evening that hinged on a one-off mistake in the visiting penalty area, a handful of missed opportunities and a remarkable comeback by rivals Manchester City, Allegri saw little reason to be negative in his post-match interview, despite seeing his side slip to second place in Group D.
“There are no easy games at this level. We needed a positive result tonight but if you create chances and don’t take them, then outcomes like this are always likely. We rushed things and turned the ball over far too often at crucial points during the encounter. We managed the game slightly better in the second period and I feel that we tried to force things a little too much before we conceded. It’s important to make sure that you always have control of proceedings and not let the tempo get out of hand. If anything, the onus was more on Sevilla to pick up the pace, seeing as they were playing at home. Instead, they were able to feed off our urgency and get the crowd right behind them.”
As the Tuscan points out, the overriding positive to be taken back from Turin is that the Bianconeri had sealed their place in the last 16 with one game to spare and, as a result, the 48-year old reflected on what was, on the whole, a positive six matches for his team.
“The most important thing, as I’ve said all along, was to qualify for the knockout stages. We’ve grown as a group as the tournament has gone on and let’s not forget that we fielded a young side tonight. Nights like this will only help us in the long run. Now we need to turn our attentions to the league and make sure we bounce back on Sunday against Fiorentina.”