Sergio Conceicao is far from being Juve’s biggest fan to say the least.
The current Porto manager enjoyed a long stint in Italy during his playing days, representing several of the Old Lady’s rivals – mainly Lazio, Inter and Parma.
Therefore, the Portuguese tactician definitely took a special pleasure from his first leg victory over the Bianconeri in the Champions League round of 16.
Mehdi Taremi opened the scoring from the very first minute after a horrible back pass from Rodrigo Bentancur, and Moussa Marega added the second for the Dragons right after the half time break.
Nonetheless, Federico Chiesa’s late goal for the Italians will be a huge cause of concern of Conceicao going into the second leg.
Thus, despite being happy with the 2-1 win, the Portuguese didn’t attempt to hide his disappointment at conceding an away goal.
“It’s disappointing we conceded that goal, as for 71 minutes we kept Juve quiet and neutralised them defensively,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia as translated by Football Italia.
“We pressed all the strong points of Juve, including Adrien Rabiot in the middle, while Chiesa is very good at cutting inside and taking men on, Ronaldo is incredible in the box.
“Porto were strategically excellent tonight, but we’re only half-way through the tie. We need to be this strong in every moment of the game to reach the quarter-finals.
“We made two or three errors defensively on the goal we conceded. There’s another game to be played, we need to continue at this level, remaining focused in every moment, because at the slightest error, you risk conceding.
“That is what happened, because for about 70 minutes Juve didn’t create a single chance. Moussa Marega managed to block Rabiot, we blocked other Juve players to stop them creating the play from the back.
“Our performance was not spectacular, as we had to defend more than attack, but at this level against Juve, that’s what you have to do,” added the 46-year-old.
“We need to be rigorous defensively and then make the most of any errors. Juve are the ones who need to chase the result, but that doesn’t mean we are going there just to defend, otherwise we will concede eventually.
“If they have Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala and others back, that will give them very different characteristics, but we will study Juve carefully and be prepared, because we want to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.”
Regarding a return to Italy, Conceicao left the door open for such a prospect.
“I miss Italy and it will always be in my heart. I don’t know, you can never tell!”