Max Allegri is torn between ‘positive’ thoughts going into the second leg of their Europa League tie with Freiburg and regrets over wasted opportunities. ‘Federico Chiesa felt a twinge, we hope it’s nothing serious.’



The Bianconeri once again were thankful to World Cup winner Angel Di Maria, who was found by Filip Kostic for a free header under the crossbar to get the better of Freiburg.

It was a tough match, as although Juve wasted numerous opportunities, they were saved by VAR when Freiburg’s equaliser was disallowed for a handling offence.

“I think the lads played very well this evening, with great intensity, good technique and fortunately the goal was handball, otherwise we’d have conceded an equaliser with the only shot on goal!” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

“What we do need to do is improve on the final ball, as we often choose the wrong pass or time it wrong, and those are fundamental, otherwise they allow the opponents to get back into shape. It happened a few times and I had a word with Moise Kean as well on that, as he should’ve released Juan Cuadrado clear on goal. At this level, you cannot get that wrong.”

Away goals no longer count for double in UEFA competitions, so this is a very slender lead going into the second leg next Thursday.

However, it is still an improvement on the 1-1 they had after the home leg against Nantes in the play-off.

“It won’t be easy away to Freiburg, but what makes me think positive is that we created numerous chances. In the second leg, they will have to take more of the initiative, allow us more spaces and we must take advantage of that.

“We need to be more clinical, as our percentage of goals scored compared to chances created is still too low.”

There were worries in the final minutes, as substitute Chiesa went down hurt and stayed on after treatment to his right knee, even though he clearly could not run or participate in the game, remaining only to make up the numbers.

“He felt a twinge, we all hope it is nothing serious.”

Di Maria also went off admitting to fatigue and feeling his adductor, so Juventus could be a little stretched for this weekend’s encounter with Sampdoria.

“We have some players out, Miretti just came back today and could play a half. Leo Bonucci did well too, it’s a pity that Kean will be suspended on Sunday in a very, very difficult and very important game for us, as we need to get back to winning ways in Serie A. Once we get into the head-to-head clashes, anything can still happen.

“The important thing against Sampdoria is to have the right attitude. In these situations, the players will have to make sacrifices for the team.”

Paul Pogba would’ve been a useful addition off the bench this evening, but he was frozen out as a disciplinary matter after turning up late to a team meeting. On this, at least, Allegri has no regrets.

“There are rules within a team like Juventus and they need to be respected above all by the veterans. To go all the way in a competition, you need as well as technique and quality, more importantly character and moral strength.”

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