City outclass Gladbach in dominant display

Allegri praises Juventus' intensity in Champions League win vs. Real Madrid


Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri rued a few missed chances in their 2-1 Champions League win against Real Madrid, while praising his team's intensity ahead of next week's second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Former Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata came back to haunt his old club as he sent Juventus on their way over the holders. Morata, who moved to Juventus in the offseason shortly after helping Madrid to a record 10th European Cup title, didn't celebrate after scoring the opening goal in the ninth minute.

"I am very happy with what the lads did," Allegri said. "This is the right reward that they deserved, as it's not easy to reach the Champions League semifinal and especially to play against Real Madrid.

"We played with great intensity and allowed Real Madrid very little, but could've done better in the pace of creating our play in the first half.

"It's a shame, as we could've done better with the [Fernando] Llorente chance, but I'd have been happy beforehand to get a win over Real Madrid. Now we can prepare for a week and can fight it out in Madrid."

Allegri shifted his formation during the match with Andrea Barzagli coming off the bench in the 64th minute for Stefan Sturaro. Juventus, who secured their fourth-straight Serie A title ahead on the weekend, started in a 4-3-1-2, but shifted to a 3-5-2 after the substitution.

Allegri was questioned during at his press conference as to which formation he'd use in the second leg in Madrid.

"You're asking too much! The game just ended!" Allegri said. "I think tonight the lads defended very well with four, though it was not easy to leave Andrea out. I had to make a choice and he did great coming off the bench.

"With [Leonardo] Bonucci booked, I had to take fewer risks and have another defender near him."

Sturaro's selection over Roberto Pereyra was a surprise to many, as the former only had four minutes of Champions League play to his credit prior to the match vs. Real.

Allegri explained he made the move to get fresh legs in on the defensive side of the ball and because Sturaro had trained well in recent days. He credited the defence for helping negate the influence of Sergio Ramos.

"The players know I am very demanding on control and the passage of play," Allegri said. "So I feel we could've done better in the first half to pass it around quickly and get the ball between the Real Madrid midfielders.

"That doesn't take away from the fact they did very well and I am very happy with what they are doing.

"We started the Champions League in a certain way and it's different to Serie A, we need to face these games with more calm and maturity. It's practically impossible to press a team for 90 minutes and they can score in 10.

"It's important to read the game, know when it's time to slow down, time to step up the pace and change gear. The team has definitely improved on that."

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