Juventus
    Juventus
      23.11.2016 00:27 - in: Champions League S

      Allegri chuffed with last-16 qualification

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      "It wasn't easy to come here and win. Sevilla are a physical side and they closed down all the spaces. We've achieved our first target of the season"

      Massimiliano Allegri was understandably pleased after Juventus achieved their "first target of the season" by reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 3-1 victory at Sevilla.

      The Bianconeri showed resolve to fight back from a goal down in Spain but the coach feels his team ultimately deserved the win.

      "I'm a happy man tonight – above all because we've secured qualification but also because we played well," he began.

      "We were better in the first half than in the second yet our opponents scored with their only chance after 10 minutes. After the restart Sevilla closed down all the space. It was no easy task coming here and winning – but we deserved it."

      Having got the job done, the boss is already looking forward to the hectic month that lies ahead.

      "We've achieved our first target of the season, which was to qualify from our group. Now we have to beat Dinamo to make sure of first place. We also want to end the year top of the league and win in Doha.

      "It's not going to be easy because it's a very busy month. We mustn't get ahead of ourselves; we just have to remain very calm.

      "We needed a win tonight and we got one. Now we have to kick on from here."

      Allegri went on to analyse the match itself in more detail.

      "We needed to up the pace in the second half but at the same time we needed to rush less because they were plugging all the gaps. At the end of the day we were playing with one man up top against a backline that was sitting tight.

      "Sevilla were very strong physically – as we expected them to be – and [Leo] Bonucci's goal came after [Moise] Kean won a physical battle in the box.

      "I wasn't happy with our ball management in the last five minutes. We did things without thinking and gifted them possession too easily. We need to learn to use our heads better."

      Finally, Allegri ran the rule over Kean, who made his Champions League tonight at the age of 16, and commented on Miralem Pjanic's contribution.

      "Kean will remain with us while we wait for [Paulo] Dybala and [Marko] Pjaca to return. After an understandable dip – psychological more than anything – he's on the up again and showing what he can do.

      "It was a tricky game today and very physical. Miralem did a lot of running. He's weighed in with goals and assists this season so I'm happy with his contribution."

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