Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has revealed he feels ‘angry’ about the club’s Champions League elimination and not being able to compete with Europe’s best beyond the group stage.
The 2013/14 season was the last time Juve failed to reach the knockout stages in the Champions League, with them going on to reach the Europa League semi-finals that year.
Juve will again drop into the Europa League, but only if they at least equal Maccabi Haifa’s result on matchday six this week. The Serie A side face Paris Saint-Germain in Turin, while the Israeli club host Benfica. The possibility remains that Juve finish fourth and are knocked out of Europe altogether.
“It’s the first in many years where we play without it being decisive for the Champions League. Now in the Europa League we try to go there. It’s still Europe,” Allegri said at his pre-match press conference.
“I am angry. Not comparing ourselves from March onwards with the best creates anger for us. It has to give us motivation, it has to create a reaction."
An early elimination from Europe altogether would at least allow Juventus to focus on fixing their domestic form. They are currently sat in seventh place in Serie A, although they are just three points off the last Champions League qualification spot.
"We’ll think about [Serie A] after the matches with Inter, Verona and Lazio,” he said.
“It’s normal that the matches in the Champions League, as results, are very bad and this makes us see the results in the league in a more negative way. But we’ll think about the league [on Thursday].”