Max Allegri admits he is happy for Juventus to play in a ‘less pretty’ way as long as they win after Villarreal held them to a draw in Champions League first leg with coach critical of Adrien Rabiot’s slack marking for Spanish side’s equaliser
Max Allegri has admitted he doesn’t mind his Juventus team playing in a ‘less pretty’ way so long as they win after they were held to a draw by Villarreal in the Champions League.
The Bianconeri had a dream start in Tuesday night’s last-16, first leg match when Dusan Vlahovic scored within 32 seconds of his debut in the competition.
But they were ultimately forced to settle for a draw when Dani Parejo capitalised on some slack marking by Adrien Rabiot to equalise on 68 minutes.
Max Allegri was left to rue slack marking after Juventus drew with Villarreal on Tuesday night
Dani Parejo scores for Villarreal after Juventus switched off with the match ending all-square
And Rabiot was fortunate to escape a red card when he raked his studs down Samuel Chukwueze’s knee a few minutes later.
With away goals a thing of the past in the Champions League, Juventus will have to win the return leg in Turin to advance to the quarter-finals.
And coach Allegri said: ‘It was a game we had to play his 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.’
Dusan Vlahovic netted his maiden goal in the competition on his debut after just 32 seconds
Vlahovic latched onto a ball over the top and dispatched a fine strike across Geronimo Rulli
The Serie A side celebrated the goal wildly, but find themselves locked level for the return leg
Allegri wasn’t happy with Rabiot, who switched off to allow Parejo space to score.
He told Mediaset: ‘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.
‘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 have 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 as they had a very high line.
Tensions flared late in the second half after Adrien Rabiot’s high tackle on Samuel Chukwueze
‘There was a really good opportunity late on, their goalkeeper made a good save.’
Looking ahead to the second leg on home turf on March 16, Allegri added: ‘Now the away goals rule has been abolished, it’s basically a final. We have to win, there’s no other option!’
In the meantime, Allegri will concentrate on shoring up Juve’s top four position in Serie A and ensure a return to next season’s Champions League.
They are currently fourth, three points ahead of Atalanta, but have played a game more. Juventus head to Empoli on Saturday before travelling to Fiorentina in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final next Wednesday.