Allegri hails Pirlo


Published: Wednesday 15th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri hailed the contributions of veteran midfielder Andrea Pirlo after his team’s 1-0 home triumph over Monaco in the Champions League.

Tuesday’s first-leg quarter-final encounter in Turin was Pirlo’s first game back since recovering from a calf injury and the 35-year-old provided the pass that led to Juve being awarded a penalty.

Alvaro Morata fell following contact from Monaco’s Ricardo Carvalho and Arturo Vidal then converted the second-half spot-kick to give the Italians the edge in the tie.

“Pirlo had a good 70 minutes, which is excellent considering he had not played for 50 days,” Allegri said to the Italian press. “Set plays can be decisive in these games and great quality passes to break through those tiny spaces were needed.

“In fact, his pass was decisive for the penalty.”

Juve, who are in the Coppa Italia final and lead Serie A by 12 points, are looking to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign.

“It’s normal there was pressure around this game, especially as we were the favourites” Allegri said. “We were too hasty and made simple mistakes with our passing.

“In these situations, you must always have the patience to play your game.

“But overall, I think the result is deserved.

“Monaco have the strongest defence in the Champions League and Ligue 1.

“Obviously, it’s a quarter-final, so those who thought we would win by a 3-0 result were kidding themselves.”

Allegri expects a difficult second leg.

Juve travel to the Stade Louis II on April 22.

“This is a tough side to play against and paradoxically it was easier against Borussia Dortmund (in the previous round) because of their style of football,” he said. “Monaco know their limitations and therefore play to stop the opposition playing.

“It means waiting a little longer and making an extra five or six passes to find the right breakthrough.”

Allegri does not think the 1-0 advantage will be enough to progress.

“I am always optimistic, but we know that we need to score in Monaco to go forward,” he said.

Published: Wednesday 15th April 2015 by The News Editor

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