Juventus’ manager Massimiliano Allegri chose to dwell on his side’s finishing despite beating Chelsea to the top spot of their 2021/22 UEFA Champions League group.
Allegri’s side finished top of group H thanks to Chelsea playing a 3-3 draw away to Zenit St Petersburg on the last matchday of the group stages, as they beat the visiting Malmö by a lone Moise Kean goal.
Allegri was grateful to finish at the top of his group which looked unlikely at some point but was more concerned about the chances which Juventus missed in the game.
““It was a great evening for the result, but we wasted too many scoring opportunities,” the 54-year-old Italian manager said in his post match comments to Sky Sports Italy.
“We cannot think we’ll get far if we continue to waste all these chances. We must be more clinical, more determined when we are in front of goal. This is absolutely something we need to improve.”
Juventus fielded a much changed side for their final group game with qualification guaranteed and a very busy schedule in the coming weeks. Allegri spoke on the idea behind his rotation of the squad for what turned out to be a very fortunate game.
“I wanted to see how everyone was doing and they all gave a good response,” Allegri continued. “Arthur, Rodrigo Bentancur, Daniele Rugani, Mattia Perin and Koni De Winter all played with character.”
He still went on to mention his side’s poor finishing in the game despite this praise for his squad.
“It was a difficult match and we were able to break the deadlock early, but then failed to kill off the game with 2-0 so many times. We have to improve this, because we cannot keep games in the balance like this,” the Juventus boss said.
Juventus travel to Venezia at the weekend to continue their Serie A top four race following a poor run of form in front of the attack which has seen them only score 20 goals in 14 games so far this season in the competition.
“I told the lads that a much more difficult match awaits us this weekend against Venezia, because none of them have faced Venezia before,” he added.
“I’ve been there, it’s a beautiful city, but also a very difficult stadium to play in and we need a completely different performance to what we saw today.
“Their pitch is very narrow and they are aggressive. We must be organised and focused, above all improving our effectiveness in front of goal.”
Juventus must reach quarter finals, says Bonucci
Legendary defender Leonardo Bonucci said after the match that the minimum target for Juventus is reaching the last eight of the Champions League after topping their group in fortunate circumstances.
“It would be hypocritical for us to say that Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Liverpool don’t have something more than Juve right now,” said Bonucci in his post-match press conference.
“We can only call upon our best physical and mental shape in the Round of 16 to go forward. The minimum target for Juventus is reaching the last eight of the Champions League.
“Whatever the draw holds for us, and it could be Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, we need to reach those fixtures in the best possible shape. We need to at least reach the quarter-finals.”
Elsewhere, 19-year-old Koni De Winter who made his UEFA Champions League debut against Malmö for Juventus’ is the youngest player to ever start a Champions League game for the Bianconeri.
It is not his debut in the competition, however, as he had already come off the bench for 10 minutes in their 4-0 loss to Chelsea earlier during the group stages.
Allegri will be happy with the Belgian U-23 player’s performance and will definitely have him in his plans for future games in the competition.