23.07.2017 04:15 - in: Tour - Field S

    Juve-Barca match reaction: Allegri, Chiellini & Cuadrado

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    Allegri encouraged by a record-setting night in New Jersey; Chiellini and Cuadrado urge Bianconeri to build on improved second-half performance

    It wasn’t a perfect start to the pre-season for Juventus on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey as the Bianconeri fell 2-1 to Barcelona in the International Champions Cup opener for both sides, but Massimiliano Allegri was still pleased with what he saw overall.

    “Considering it was the first time we got together as a group I think the team played well,” Allegri said through a translator. “It’s always difficult to get together and play a match right off the bat, but I think the team played well and we’re looking forward to more training tomorrow.”

    Indeed, Sunday's session in Boston will be the first time Allegri has had the full squad at his disposal with some of his South American stars like Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain having joined the team in New York only on Friday night.

    “Saturday was our first night together,” Allegri underlined. “Tomorrow, we begin official preparations on the road to the Super Cup in Rome on the 13 July, so there is a lot of work to be done.”

    While the result was not what Allegri would have wanted, an overall positive performance that saw Dybala, Higuain and others play a match before even holding a training session with the squad can be a big plus. Juventus and Barcelona combined to play in front of the largest soccer crowd in New Jersey history with 82,104 people making the match a true spectacle.

    “It was a magnificent evening with two very good squads in preparation for the season. Considering we haven’t even had a full practice together as a team and this was our first game, it was an important test in terms of looking towards the new campaign.”

    Goalscorer on the night Giorgio Chiellini and Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado also gave post-match interview at MetLife Stadium:

    “This was the first match of pre-season and a difficult one at that," opened Chiellini. "We only returned from holiday a week ago and since then we had put in the hard yards in training back in Turin.

    “It’s no small order facing Lionel Messi and Neymar when you’re not yet in top form. This was a good run out for us and now we’ll continue working to improve our physical condition.”

    Like Chiellini, Cuadrado, who came on as a second-half substitute, urged the Bianconeri to use Saturday night's game as a launchpad towards the new season.

    “Barcelona are a great team and notoriously difficult to play against. Now we have to get back to work on the training pitches and get to know as quickly as possible our new team-mates. 

    “This is a top side that hasn’t changed much since last year. Now the onus is on making sure we’re ready and raring to go by the time the Super Cup final arrives.”

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