A night to forget for Juventus coach Max Allegri as he was seemingly demoralized after the Bianconeri were rocked onto the canvas in a 4-1 knockout defeat to Empoli, as well as being docked 10 points as a result for their in-transparency within the accounting of the club’s transfer dealings.
Despite Juventus dropping to seventh place moments before stepping onto the pitch, obtaining all three points was vital to keep them at reach of a Champions League as only five points separated them from fourth-placed Milan.
However, the Old Lady were shell-shocked at the Stadio Castellani as they were down 2-0 under the half-hour mark, conceding a penalty from Francesco Caputo in the 18th minute of play, as well as a rebound in courtesy of Luperto only three minutes after the opening goal.
As the match progressed, the Bianconeri’s woes manifested further as Alex Sandro was stripped of the ball by Akpa Akrpo, who squared it to Caputo to double Zanetti’s side’s lead.
Despite Federico Chiesa’s consoling goal, the Serie A giants were thrashed by a three-goal margin, finding themselves five points adrift from a Champions League qualifying-spot with two games remaining, leaving their faith of featuring in the prestigious competition potentially within the hands of the Rossonerri.
While talking to DAZN Italia, via Tuttomercatoweb, Allegri revealed his frustration regarding the result of the match, as well as the management of the ten-point deduction prior to the match:
“It’s an understatement to enclose the game or the season in an evening like this. We don’t have to find an alibi, it’s not easy, there are six points up for grabs and Milan arrive on Sunday. Of course it’s strange to find yourself with 10 points down before the start of the match match. We started well, we could have shortened the distance immediately but it doesn’t justify the mental collapse.”
“At this moment we have to keep quiet, accept defeat. We scored 69 points on the field, we found ourselves 10 points down. By winning we could have played for the Champions League with Milan, that’s how it went but I can’t blame the boys for anything. It’s not an easy situation and it won’t be in the next few days either. They’re not justifications but the situation is certainly anomalous.”
What is the budget this season?
“The boys did everything they could do, tonight we could have played for the Champions League again with Milan but we’ve been playing in these conditions since January. I think mental breakdown is normal, now we have to score 6 points to catch up with those in front. There will be 10 heavy days because it is normal for energy to fail. This was a surreal situation”.
Is the team strong enough mentally?
“The psychological aspect is fundamental, it’s one thing to play second in the standings and another to win yet another game because every time we put our head forward they crush us underneath. They’re not justifications but a bit of extenuating factor for this team they must be given”.
Julian Faustini | GIFN