Allegri warns Juve cannot 'feel sorry for ourselves' after Nantes frustration

By Sports Desk February 16, 2023

Massimiliano Allegri warned Juventus cannot afford "to feel sorry for ourselves" after the Bianconeri were denied a late penalty and failed to make their dominance pay against Nantes.

Juve were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa League play-off tie on Thursday after Ludovic Blas' second-half strike cancelled out a simple Dusan Vlahovic opener.

Allegri's side dominated for large parts at Allianz Stadium and were left aggrieved after seeing a late penalty appeal turned down when Andrei Girotto appeared to handle inside the area.

The VAR sent referee Joao Pinheiro to the touchline monitor in the final minutes, but he instead awarded a free-kick for a Bremer push on the Nantes defender, much to Allegri's annoyance.

"I saw it now. Needless to say it was a hand, a penalty, it should have been a second yellow card," the Juve coach told Sky Sport Italia.

While Juve were left furious with the late decision, the Bianconeri should have sealed the play-off advantage earlier after pinning their visitors back throughout.

Allegri's side managed 64.2 per cent possession in the second half, registered double their opponents' seven shots over the full game and hit the target with six of those compared to Nantes' one.

The stalemate left it all to play for at Beaujoire Stadium on February 23 as Allegri was left to rue a missed chance.

"We could have done better with our ball speed. After 1-0 we stopped, we played too much in slow motion," the Italian added.

"It went to 1-1 and then we got back to playing, we had the chance to go 2-1 up on several occasions. We have to carry on [when on top], especially in these matches where you need to score more goals.

"It's useless to feel sorry for ourselves, we have to secure qualification in France. But now we have to think about Spezia [on Sunday]."

Allegri was also left frustrated with the nature of Blas' equaliser after Nantes raced away on a counterattack that started on the edge of their own area, with Mostafa Mohamed playing through his strike partner to equalise.

He continued: "[Angel] Di Maria could shoot, he tried to dribble, it can happen. You can't let a counterattack happen from the other end of the pitch and not make a foul.

"It happened because at that moment we were a bit out of the game."

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