Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri feels his team indeed and really deserves credit for qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League from a tough group.
The Serie A giants held last season’s finalists Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw in Turin on Tuesday to move forward to second spot in Group A behind the Spaniards.
The Italian champions finished one point clear of third-place Olympiacos, who won 4-2 at home to Malmo in their last pool game.
“It was a very difficult and intense game,” Allegri told www.juventus.it. “It’s never painless and stress-free to play against Atletico team.”
“Atletico have played with the same unchanged and uniform formation for the last four years and give little away.”
“They are mentally well-built and highly seasoned team. They are one of the tough teams to play against.”
“We were cautious as we didn’t want to take the risk of losing the game and compromise our qualification for the next round.
“We held last season’s finalists, which was no painless task.”
“We indeed deserved to be in the next round, considering the tough group we faced.”
Juve won three and lost two of their six games in the competition to get through to the knockout stage.”
“We’ve done a excellent job so far,” Allegri said. “I’m happy with how my team has played.”
“We need to be aware of our quality and little by little we will improve and pick up. We can do better.”
Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon was also proud to see his team in the last 16 of the competition for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign, especially after losing two of their opening three pool games.
“After three games into the competition, our qualification probability looked slim,” Buffon said. “We did well to turn things around and we reached the last group game needing just a point to make progress.
“I believes our qualification is exceptionally and really deserved.”
“To finish first or second in the group changes little as sooner or later you will have to come up against the top and finest teams,”
“If you are tough, you can beat them too in the last 16.”