13.12.2013 17:35 - in: Serie A S

    Barzagli: "Full concentration required for Sassuolo"

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    Andrea Barzagli believes Juve must quickly move on from their Champions League exit if they are to keep overcoming the hurdles in Serie A, the most pressing of which is Sunday’s match with Sassuolo

    With no time to lose and new challenges always appearing on the horizon, Andrea Barzagli has insisted Juventus must quickly turn the page following their elimination from the Champions League.

    It was a difficult afternoon in Istanbul for the Bianconeri on Wednesday, but the defender believes attentions should now be fixed on the three domestic fixtures that remain before the Christmas break: the Serie A clashes with Sassuolo and Atalanta and the midweek Coppa Italia match against Avellino.

    In an interview with Sky Sports and Jtv, the 32-year-old began: “It was a strange game against Galatasaray. None of us had ever experienced those kind of conditions, on an unplayable pitch like that. 

    "There were moments in which it was truly impossible to play, and then, to top it off, we conceded right at the death. Going out of the Champions League in that manner was a bitter pill to swallow, but we have to look to the future.”

    It’s a future which now holds the Europa League, a competition which Antonio Conte's men qualify for after finishing third in Group B. And this year the final will be at a venue close to the Bianconeri’s hearts: Juventus Stadium.

    “It’s still too early to think about it,” Barzagli said, “but it’s obvious that with the final being played in Turin everyone has started to consider the Europa League as a main objective. But it would still have been that even if the final was in another stadium.

    “There has often been snobbery in Italy about this competition, but reaching the final can give you important ranking points.”

    For now though, Barzagli is taking one game at a time, which means this week’s focus is all on Sassuolo and the problems he believes they can cause Juve.

    “Sassuolo have important players and interesting youngsters. They held Roma and Napoli to draws, but it would be doing them a disservice to just think about those two games, they’ve showed that they know how to play football.

    “These days in Italy you can’t afford to be at anything less than 100% if you want to avoid upsets, so for that reason we’ll have to be at the top of our game. The match with Roma will be important given how the league table is panning out, but there are still lots of games left. For that reason it won’t prove anything for certain.”

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