Max Allegri confirmed he will stay at Juventus despite the Champions League quarter-final exit to Ajax.
“We conceded a fortuitous goal and the fear set in.”
Cristiano Ronaldo had given Juve the lead after the 1-1 first leg result in Amsterdam, but Donny van de Beek equalised before half-time and then Matthijs de Ligt got the decisive second away goal.
“We had done well in the first half, albeit a little too frenetic when we won back possession. Football is vicious, as you concede a fortuitous goal, the fear sets in, we got stretched out in the second half and should’ve had a different approach.
President Andrea Agnelli acknowledged Ajax “fully deserved to qualify” for the Champions League semi-finals, but the Juventus project continues.
The Bianconeri were eliminated in the quarter-final with a 2-1 home defeat, after the 1-1 first leg in Amsterdam.
“My job is to be there in certain moments and make general evaluations,” the President told Sky Sport Italia, as he was the first Juve representative to speak with the media.
“Ajax fully deserved to qualify, but at the same time we are aware that for the last five or six years we’ve been a stable presence in the Champions League quarter-finals and so want to keep that progress going, year after year, year after year.
Even Cristiano Ronaldo was not enough this time, as a poor Juventus side were comprehensively out-played by Ajax in Turin as the Dutch side won 2-1 win to reach the Champions League semi-finals.
The first leg ended 1-1, so was hanging in the balance, but both teams were forced into changes. Giorgio Chiellini was still injured, joined by Mario Mandzukic, Douglas Costa, Mattia Perin and Martin Caceres, so Paulo Dybala became centre-forward and captain, with Mattia De Sciglio rather than Joao Cancelo. Nicolas Tagliafico was suspended for the Dutch masters, replaced by Noussair Mazraoui returning from his ban, while Frenkie de Jong was able to start despite a hamstring problem.
Max Allegri has backed Juventus’ squad players to deliver an eighth straight Scudetto when they face SPAL on Saturday.
Juve only need a point to secure yet another Serie A title, and Allegri revealed the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonardo Bonucci would be rested, while Juan Cuadrado would play for the first time since December.
“I have to evaluate today’s training session, but many first-teamers will rest,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“There are players who need to rest. And maybe it’ll be an opportunity for some young players.
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Allegri Has Faith In Squad Players As Juve Can Wrap Up Title This Weekend
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Carlo Ancelotti admits he was “surprised at the timid Napoli start, but Arsenal are not impenetrable and we must retain optimism” in the Europa League quarter-final.
It was a dismal first half performance, with Aaron Ramsey’s goal and a Kalidou Koulibaly deflection allowing Lucas Torreira to score, but the Partenopei improved after the break only to miss a sitter with Piotr Zielinski.
The 2-0 result is a difficult one to overcome, but the Gunners have a notoriously poor away record going into the Stadio San Paolo next Thursday.
Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 51 per cent of his Champions League goals in the knockout stages, more than anyone else in Europe’s elite competition.
After scoring against Ajax on Wednesday night, Ronaldo now has 125 Champions League goals, while Lionel Messi has 108 goals in the competition and Karim Benzema is third on 60.
But more impressive is that Ronaldo has now scored 24 goals in 21 goals in the quarter-finals alone!
When you look at total goals in the knockout stages, Ronaldo has more than the next two players combined!
Most Champions League Goals In Knockout Stages
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Ronaldo Proves He Is The Ultimate Big Game Player
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President Aurelio De Laurentiis believes if Napoli “had the revenue of an English or Spanish club, I’d win every year” and will eventually “crush Juventus without mercy.”
“It would’ve been nicer to have a less complicated opponent at this stage, but I think Carlo Ancelotti can deal with the situation,” the President told Sky Sport Italia.
“Ancelotti prefers it that we have the second leg at home, whereas I for superstitious reasons prefer it the other way around. Arsenal have a good Coach in Unai Emery, but I think ours is better.
“The players are concentrated on both Serie A and Arsenal.”
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Napoli President: “If Only We Had More Revenue”
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The father-in-law of James Rodriguez, currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid, claims the player would like to join Napoli.
The Colombian is entering the final months of a two-year loan deal at the Bavarian club but has appeared to say that he is open to a return to Madrid this summer.
James has seven goals in 25 appearances this season for the German champions and played under Napoli Coach Carlo Ancelotti at both Madrid and Bayern.
“My daughter Daniela told me that he has a great relationship with Carlo Ancelotti and would be happy to reunite with him,” Hernan Ospina told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.
Fiorentina have officially appointed Vincenzo Montella as their coach for the second time.
A statement on Fiorentina’s official website confirms Montella has signed a contract until 2021, took his first training session on Wednesday and will be unveiled this evening.
The 44-year-old has been out of work since leaving Sevilla towards the end of last season, when he was also dismissed by Milan.
He previously coached Fiorentina between 2012 and 2015, guiding them to fourth-place finishes in each of his three campaigns at the helm.
His first match back at the Artemio Franchi comes against Bologna in Serie A on Sunday.
UEFA has announced that AC Milan has been referred to its CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber for more Financial Fair Play violations.
A statement released by UEFA on Wednesday confirmed Milan had failed to comply with FFP last season, as well as the three before it.
“The UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) investigatory chamber has today communicated its decision to refer the case of AC Milan (Italy) to the CFC adjudicatory chamber as the club has failed to comply with the break-even requirement during the monitoring period assessed in the current season and covering the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.