17 March 2016
A first career Champions League goal – the fastest of Juve’s European campaign – for Paul Pogba and a second strike 22 minutes later from Juan Cuadrado ensured things started in perfect fashion for the Bianconeri on Wednesday night at the Allianz Arena.
All the more reason, in the words of the Frenchman in his post-match dissection of the action, to feel disappointed with the tie’s conclusion, a 6-4 aggregate victory for Bayern Munich after extra-time.
"We executed our plan perfectly,” he began. “We started exactly as we needed to, earning that two-goal lead so early on and I think all we needed was to find a third and we would have gone through but that’s football.”
For Pogba, it was ultimately the game’s finer details that cost Juve a place in Friday’s quarter-final draw, particularly the effect of Bayern’s two second-half strikes on the tiring Bianconeri.
“It’s those small details that can cost you matches and knock you off your stride and that’s exactly what occurred with their two goals tonight, the first because it gave them a real boost and the second because it denied us a place in the next round with the last kick of the game.
“On the one hand you could say it was our drop in intensity that let them back in to the tie but on the other hand they have players who can cause problems for you at any moment. They upped their game once they had pulled a goal back and the second strike killed us.”
All in all, a disappointing evening for Juventus’ number 10 that perhaps on other day would have seen his side advance at the expense of their hosts.
He concluded: “Being eliminated from the Champions League hurts and all the more so when it happens as it has done here.”