Federico Bernardeschi said Juventus’ Champions League tie with Tottenham Hotspur is far from over despite his side relinquishing a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Italian champions must win in London on March 7 or draw 2-2 to force extra time and possibly penalties. A draw with more goals would see them progress, but defeat or a 0-0 or 1-1 draw would send last year’s finalists out.
Bernardeschi nevertheless believes the tie still has legs and insists Juve will head to Wembley Stadium in a confident mood.
“We played a great game against strong opponents and it’s a pity we only drew, but there is still a second leg and we go there knowing that we can still win,” Bernardeschi told Mediaset. “It was only natural that we would suffer after going 2-0 up. We were never going to be able to keep that rhythm up for the whole game and we knew they would have to come at us too.
“You have to suffer from time to time, but we did well and had intensity. It’s a pity we conceded the 2-2, which we didn’t deserve, but we’re confident for the return leg.”
Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri accused reporters of “lacking a sense of reality” for their line of questioning after the draw, which he said does not alter the situation in that there is still a 50-50 chance of going through to the quarterfinals.
He believes Juve exceeded themselves by reaching two of the past three finals, suggesting that only the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City can be expected to reach the final every year but that for Juve, it is “a dream.”
Allegri said that until the return leg, he does not want to hear anything about the Champions League as Juve must instead focus on Serie A, where they trail leaders Napoli by one point.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.