After taking his personal tally to three for the campaign with his match-winning strike against Lyon this evening, Leonardo Bonucci spoke to the media about the role he played in Juve's victory. It was far more than just hitting that 85th-minute winner: with Pirlo and the other Bianconeri midfielders coming in for some fierce man-marking, the Italy defender found himself dictating play from deep.
The 26-year-old explained: "They were playing man for man in the middle and letting me ping forward passes from the back. Tevez was moving between the lines but it was hard to pick him out with so little space. Often the only pass on was the long ball: sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. When we started moving more in the second half, especially with our midfielders, we managed to create more space. It's a massive win for us."
Advantage Juve it may be, but Leonardo is not getting carried away: he knows the team is only one game closer to their target of clinching a prestigious Serie A and Europa League double. He added: "It's the minimum result for us. We're looking to secure the league title and go all the way in Europe, so we have to go out there and try to win them all."
The second leg is just seven days away and it's a match Juventus can afford to draw, but the Bianconeri No.19 warned that there will be no shutting up shop in Turin. "We know the best way for us to defend is to go on the attack. We can't just sit back and soak it up. We only have a small advantage but it means we'll go into the return leg safe in the knowledge that we're one small step closer to the final."
Finally, he had words of praise for fellow centre-half Martin Caceres, who produced an impeccable showing at the back this evening. "He's a permanent fixture for Uruguay and the only thing that's kept him out of the side is Barzagli's magnificent form. He's showed he has what it takes to play for Juve. He's a superb man-marker, very good at beating his man to the ball. He's perfectly at ease slotting into this back three."