23 November 2016
Claudio Marchisio revealed that he felt liberated after dispatching a penalty on the stroke of half time against Sevilla on Tuesday night.
The goal – which drew Juventus level in Spain – marked Marchisio’s return to the scoresheet after a long period on the sidelines.
“All I could think about was keeping it as low as possible, because the pitch wasn’t the best and there were lots of bobbles so I was afraid of placing it too high,” said Marchisio after the match, which saw Juve qualify for the Champions League Round of 16.
“I was lucky when I struck it because it went under the goalkeeper’s arm and in. It was quite liberating – seeing the ball hit the back of the net and being able to celebrate was amazing after such a long injury.”
Marchisio praised his Bianconeri team-mates for their performance in Seville, as they were forced to come from behind to seal a berth in the knockout stages.
“We’re absolutely delighted. We’ve achieved an important objective and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy here – their fans were amazing and kept cheering Sevilla on even when they were 3-1 down. Our performance was not bad considering how good the opposition are and it’s no wonder they’d not conceded in this competition before tonight. We managed to score three so we can’t help but be pleased,” said the midfielder.
Marchisio went on to explain that it was only after the game opened up that Juventus were able to start ticking.
“In the second half we managed to find lots of balls in behind and after we made it 2-1 there was more space to play it around. They got a bit more stretched and we were able to add a third. We have so much quality that we can and must improve, regardless of who plays.
“We have a big squad packed full of top quality, but it’s only to be expected that three months into the season some of the players might be feeling a bit tired with so many games across Serie A, the cup competitions and international duty.
“On a personal level, it’s tough for me to play every three days. It’s still a bit of a challenge because there are times when my muscles aren’t quite there yet and that affects me. I know I need to keep working hard – it was a long lay-off but I’m happy with how things are going.”
With the first big objective for the season now in the bag, Marchisio called for Juve to keep their focus on the short term.
“There’s no point in thinking about the future – we need to focus on the present. We were 1-0 down tonight and it could have gone south, but we turned it around and sealed qualification.
“We still have another match in the Champions League and then we need to focus on Serie A. Even though the other teams are making a few slip-ups, that doesn’t mean we can afford not to be on our game.”