16.04.2017 15:40 - in: UCL S

      Chiellini: "Another performance needed at the Camp Nou"

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      “We’re not going there to defend our lead. We have to score while making sure keep things tight against the world’s best attack.”

      Important result in Scudetto race

      “Yesterday was very important for the title race. Before even talking about what we did on the field, the background to the game was fraught with difficulties: an away fixture like that between the two Champions League matches in summer heat for the first time this season.

      "We managed the game well, giving nothing away showing great solidity, composure and strength. Roma dropping points has given us even greater breathing space. We know that there is still a long a way to go; our run-in to the end of the season is dangerous. It was up to us to get a result yesterday and it will be up to us alone to bring the trophy home."

      Juve, made for Europe 

      “The boss has made a career from his intuition and ingenuity both before and during games. The way he reads situations and the opposition is a real strength. After the defeat against Fiorentina he got us together and said: “Enough. We’re going to play with four forwards and play our stars all together. It will give us the edge in Europe.

      "He has been superb at getting us to buy into his ideas even if he reminds us that ultimately it is up to us to execute them out on the field. Without his leadership and strategy, we would not be able to go as far as we have done."

      Barça? Only halfway there.

      “It’s natural to be nervous before games like that because you want to show that you can go toe to toe with the best and prove that you are at the same level. We were brilliant but at full time we all knew that we are only halfway there. We have to show the same maturity one more time to get through. 

      ENRIQUE: "Easier comeback this time."

      “Factually, he is right: 3-0 is an easier score to overturn than 4-0. Beyond that, I would say that Luis Enrique, the shrewd coach that he is, is trying to motivate his players to produce another unlikely comeback. We have to be so careful because Barcelona always have the potential to do something spectacular at home and they have done many times over the last few years already, not just against PSG.

      “Facing them are a side that will do everything in their power to end this European cycle of Enrique’s Barca by beating them again. Before their return leg in the previous round I told the guys that it will difficult but if anyone can turn around a 4-0 deficit then it is Barcelona.

      “We are confident that we can reach the semi-finals but only if we manage to deliver a great performance on the night. As ever, the talking needs to be done on the field." 

      No sitting back at the Camp Nou

      “It would be foolish to go to Barcelona just to defend the 3-0 lead. We know it and everyone else knows it too. Keeping another clean sheet will be extremely difficult. We know full well that we have to score ourselves.

      "If we can keep their key players away from danger, press them high up the field and remain compact and organized, it will make life very difficult for them. If we go there, sit back and try to soak up pressure, we will lose." 

      Gameplan for MSN 

      “Barcelona have the best frontline in the world and their three strikers are probably three of the top five individuals. They are extraordinary players, each with their own unique qualities. You prepare for challenges like this by closing the spaces and being brave in what you do.

      "These guys are like sharks; if you show a sign of nerves, they smell the blood and finish you off. Instead you have to push them back as far as you can, double up when they are in possession and shut down the lines between defence and midfield.

      "If you can escape their press, Barca can struggle with balls over the top into the space behind. Knowing what you need to do though is one thing, producing it when you need to is another thing altogether."

      Optimism for Dybala

      “We are optimistic. We’d be a lot more comfortable if he hadn’t taken those two kicks and the situation could have been managed better.

      "There was a real intent to foul him out of the game and a lot of things went unnoticed but I hope everything goes well between now and Wednesday and Paulo will be able to make the difference for us again."

      Which is harder? Masters or UCL?

      “The Champions League is definitely harder! The Masters was a matter of calm, patience and dedication. So many more different factors go into winning the Champions League…"

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