Max Allegri admits Adrien Rabiot made a ‘decisive error’ and the second leg will be ‘like a final’ after drawing 1-1 with Villarreal, but insists he’d ‘rather see a winning Juventus, but less pretty. It’s a matter of taste.’
The Bianconeri had the ideal start at La Ceramica when Dusan Vlahovic scored within 32 seconds of his Champions League debut.
The coach had warned Rabiot about that precise type of run just before the goal was scored.
“It was a decisive error, because we were coming off a situation where Vlahovic was half-fouled, we sort of stopped, they sort of stopped, Parejo was left totally alone in the box,” Allegri told Mediaset.
“They had no centre-forward, so couldn’t do long balls, and we knew that we had to be wary of these situations. It was six against one, Rabiot didn’t follow him and we stayed still. We should’ve done better.
“Overall, I’d say the team played well, we risked conceding in the first half, then had chances to score and were caught offside too easily, they had a very high line.
“There was a really good opportunity late on, their goalkeeper made a good save.”
It remains open going into the second leg in Turin, especially as the away goals rule has been revoked, so if the teams are level on aggregate after 180 minutes, they go to extra time.
“Now the away goals rule has been abolished, it’s basically a final. We have to win, there’s no other option!”
Vlahovic could not have asked for a better debut, scoring within 32 seconds, but in the end Juventus were rather hanging on under pressure.
“I am happy he played well, as it is not easy against Raul Albiol. This is a Champions League Round of 16, Villarreal have experience, technique and are in good shape, so we couldn’t think of coming here and winning 3-0. We have to take things slowly, one step at a time.”
When questioned on how Allegri can make Juventus play more attractive football, his response made intentions very clear.
“It was a game we had to play this way, trying to spread the play, as they brought it into the centre. Unfortunately, we tried to be a bit too pretty and then lost our determination.
“I would prefer to see a Juve that is winning, but less pretty. It’s a matter of taste.”
The coach was asked if he has some tactical adjustment up his sleeve for the rest of this season.
“It’s not about making a definitive step. We need to get to know each other better, we have some players out injured. Arthur is good at passing, but doesn’t protect the defence. We need to find a way for the team to get results.
“We must keep working and focus on the next game with Empoli.”
Weston McKennie seemed to sprain his ankle and had to be carried off by medical staff.
“He is going for an X-Ray to his foot, we hope it is nothing serious.”
Welcome to the Champions League, Dušan Vlahović 🙌🤩
The Serbian striker scores just THIRTY-ONE SECONDS into his #UCL debut 😳👏
What a start he’s made to life at Juventus! ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/lSqlQYS2l4
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2022