Juventus mentally weak in Champions League “boxing match”

Juventus mentally weak in Champions League “boxing match”


Dani Alves and Max Allegri have lamented what they perceived as a mentally fragile Juventus in their 4-1 Champions League final thrashing by Real Madrid.

Goals from Marco Asensio, Casemiro and a Cristiano Ronaldo double put Juve to the sword at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday, consigning the Italian double champions to a comprehensive defeat.

The Bianconeri equalised in the 26th minute via a stunning Mario Mandzukic goal, but a dominant Real second half put them behind the eightball and resulted in a second final loss in three years – both against Spanish opposition.

“My team played a beautiful first half. All of my players did,” coach Allegri said.

“After we conceded the second goal, we should have stayed in the game, we should have kept playing, we should have been mentally tougher.

“When we conceded the second goal, we actually managed to create a couple of chances but we couldn’t exploit them.

“We need to improve our management of games, our management of the ball.

“We need to improve our ability to decide when we accelerate and when we need to slow down.

“But I am very pleased with how we played in the first half.”

Full-back Dani Alves, who was well marshalled in the game by Brazil counterpart Marcelo, reflected on a lost “boxing match”.

“We simply gave them the ball, and if you do that against a team with the quality of Real Madrid, if you give them the ball, they will punish you,” he said.

“It’s like a boxing match, it’s very psychological, you can’t show any weakness to your opponent.

“At this level, if you show fragility, what happened here can happen.”

Real became the first ever team to win back to back Champions League crowns with La Duodecima, setting up a glamour Super Cup showdown with Manchester United in Skopje in August.