Massimiliano Allegri praises Juventus attitude, defending after Barca draw
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri says the result of his side's 0-0 draw with Barcelona on Tuesday did not concern him as he was pleased with the performance, even if they still have work to do to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.
Juve were unable to beat a Barca side without Lionel Messi, who was left out of the starting XI, but Allegri saw enough to be satisfied with his side's performance.
The draw leaves Juventus needing to beat Olympiakos to be sure of joining Barca in the last 16, otherwise they would need a favour from the Catalan club in their game against Sporting Lisbon.
"I liked our attitude," Allegri told Mediaset. "In games like these, you have to defend as a team and while we only had three at the back, everybody was a defender for us tonight.
"I wasn't bothered about the result, I was interested in the attitude. We had to put our heart into it and whenever Juve defend like we know how to, then we don't concede.
"Last year we conceded only three goals on the way to the final and we had to prove ourselves in defence after what happened in Genoa, where we conceded goals we shouldn't have. We raised our attention levels tonight and didn't concede."
Andrea Barzagli was back in the Juve defence after being rested for the 3-2 defeat at Sampdoria at the weekend and he was happy to contribute to the clean sheet.
"It was a good game and we knew we'd have to suffer and it wouldn't be easy, but it was a good point for us," he told Mediaset. "We've taken a bit of stick for our league form and I don't honestly see why.
"We've had highs and lows and I'd say the main positive from tonight is we've not conceded, but I think we can play better. All things considered, it's a good point."
Olympiakos have yet to win a Champions League group game this season and they are certain to finish in fourth, but that is no reason for Juve to take them lightly next month, according to Paulo Dybala.
"We've got a difficult month ahead of us and the atmosphere in Greece will be hostile and it won't be easy, but we are Juventus and we've got to win," Dybala told Mediaset. "We need to improve our game. We're good at defending, but now we need to play the ball around a bit more.
"We were up against a good side who are better than last year and defend a lot better. It's a pity that my last effort didn't go in, but now we need to think about winning our final game without relying on Barcelona."
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.