Massimiliano Allegri admitted there was more pressure on Juventus in Tuesday’s Champions League opening match, but expressed relief after beating Malmo 3-0.
Juve were winless in their first three Serie A games, but achieved their sixth consecutive away win in the group stage, continuing their unbeaten streak against Swedish opponents in Europe.
Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala were both on the scoresheet as the visitors opened the Champions League with a three-goal win for the second time, the other against Feyenoord in 1997-98.
And Allegri, who returned to the helm in Europe with his squad for the first time since April 2019, was sacked after a match that came with increased pressure due to their bad start.
“When you play in the Champions League there is always a bit of tension in the preparation phase, especially when you play away from home,” Allegri told Sport Mediaset.
“There was of course a bit more pressure after three Serie A games in which we didn’t do well.
“The lads played well on a technical level, we could have done better with some situations in the first half. We need to improve, but that doesn’t change the work we started on July 14th.
“The psychological aspect is 90 percent of sport, because when you make individual mistakes like we have done so far this season, it makes us see things in a negative way.
“The results affect the way your work is judged, but we must do well to maintain a balance both in defeat and especially in success.”
2 – This is only the second #UCL match in which Juventus scored with an Argentine (Dybala) and a Brazilian (Alex Sandro): the previous one was in 2016 against Dinamo Zagreb (Higuain, Dybala, Dani Alves). Bongo.#MalmoeJuventus
– OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) September 14, 2021
The bianconeri’s sixth consecutive away win in the group stage, dating back to last season, has extended to what was already their longest run.
Morata has scored six goals in his last six away games in the competition – as many as he had scored in the previous 22 – and insisted Juve were not worried despite their winless streak.
“No, we lived in different situations here at Juventus, there weren’t as many positive things as now,” Morata replied to Sport Mediaset in the post-match when he was asked if his team was worried before Tuesday.
You have to take the good, be positive as a team, as a club, as fans. You have to go along the same line.
“We played a serious match, both today and with Napoli, but sometimes football is like this, episodes make you draw or even lose. Today it was essential to win. Now let’s get back to the championship ”.