In what was a calamitous Monday evening for Juventus, the club’s Champions League hopes were crushed in the space of two hours.
Shortly before the kickoff at the Carlo Castellani Stadium, the Bianconeri players learned that they have been deducted 10 points. While some were hoping for an angry reaction on the pitch, Empoli delivered the final blow, earning a historic 4-1 win over the Old Lady.
After the match, Max Allegri insisted that his players have done a remarkable job this season, but in these circumstances, a mental breakdown became inevitable.
“Today’s situation was strange with the sentence being handed 10 minutes before the match,” said the Livorno native in his post-match interview with DAZN via Calciomercato.
“We conceded goals at the first opportunity. But all this does not justify the collapse. We registered 69 points on the pitch anyway.
“We have to keep quiet after this knockout. But the current situation is anomalous, the next few days will be difficult.”
“My players did their best. Of course, by winning tonight we could have played for the Champions League against Milan in the next round. But we’ve been playing games like this since January.
“A mental breakdown was normal. We need to score points now to stay second on the field. The situation experienced was surreal, the boys were really good. At the moment, we lack energy, but it’s normal.”
Regarding his future, Allegri believes leaving Juventus amidst the difficult situation would be cowardice. But while he’s determined to stay, he needs to figure out what the club intends to do in the coming campaign.
“The psychological aspect weighs a lot, when we entered the field we were second, and suddenly we became seventh. Every time we try to stick our heads out, they crush us again.
“I have to talk to the club and understand what we’re playing for next season. Then we’ll start from there. If we’re out of everything, we need to say things clearly as they are: it will be impossible to win immediately.
“Now leaving Juventus would be cowardly. It’s been a disappointing season, but the boys should only be applauded.
“We are second on the pitch. Let Juventus decide where they should be on the table. It’s a lack of respect for those who work at Juventus that others decide where we have to finish. It’s incredible!”