Giorgio Chiellini has revealed how Juve emerged victorious in the Italian Cup final against a very strong Atalanta side.
The Bianconeri headed into the game having not beaten La Dea in two league games this season.
They knew that they were facing a very tough opponent who is fearless and has nothing to lose.
By contrast, Juve faced finishing this campaign with no trophy for the first time in a decade if they didn’t win the Coppa Italia.
Andrea Pirlo’s side is yet to confirm their place in the top four with just one more league game to play.
They needed to bring some positive energy home by winning the Cup.
Chiellini spoke after the final and said that they knew they had a chance after surviving the early onslaught of their opponents because La Dea had used up so much energy in the first half.
Chiellini told RAI Sport via Football Italia: “It reminded me of the Champions League Final with Cardiff, but in reverse. Atalanta started with such ferocity and aggression that they were going twice our speed. In the opening minutes, Jose Luis Palomino almost scored from six yards and he’s a centre-back, which shows you how they were all pouring forward.
“We expected them to start strong, but not that strong. The sensation we had at half-time was that Atalanta had used up a lot of energy and we could cause them problems with a higher press. We were more organised, they fell away over time and we grew stronger.
“The idea was to press them a bit higher, that way they can’t have that build-up of pressure when they play out from the back. It’s inevitable they’d lose some intensity after that first half played at a frantic tempo.”
This is a good way to bow out for Pirlo if he isn’t allowed to remain the club’s manager next season. Adding a top-four finish would be an even better end to the campaign.