ROME (AFP) – Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri insisted that his side can still qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals despite being 2-0 down after the first leg of their last 16 clash with Atletico Madrid.
Atletico have been one of European football’s toughest sides in the last nine years, during which they have won three Europa Leagues and – like Allegri’s Juve – reached and lost two Champions League finals.
Last Wednesday’s defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium made a big dent in Juve’s European ambitions as they chase their first Champions League since 1996.
“One thing is certain, we will be ready on March 12 and we have a real chance of qualifying,” Allegri told a press conference.
“I don’t know if we’ll qualify, but we must do everything to make it happen.
“We need time to prepare everything a little at a time, step by step, like a bottle of water slowly filling up.
“Expectations are higher this year, so there is a little disappointment and frustration, but it shouldn’t be, because there is still a game to be played.”