Massimiliano Allegri has no preference over who Juventus meet in the Champions League quarter-finals but called for his side to face their opponents “with courage” after they knocked out 10-man Porto.
Paulo Dybala’s first-half penalty and a red card for Maxi Pereira were enough to end the visitors’ hopes of overturning a 2-0 deficit from the first leg against a Juventus team who have only conceded three goals in a single game once in their home stadium.
The 3-0 aggregate victory and the maintenance of the competition’s best defensive record – conceding just two goals in eight games – has made Juventus one of the favourites to win the competition, but Allegri said his side still needs to improve.
“The aim was to arrive at least in the last eight,” he told Mediaset. “Now we will see what will happen to us.
“We have to improve the quality of the game, given that we will face important teams. We made a good first half, and the guys were smart not to force it. But then we defended badly, threatening to concede a goal.”
“It was necessary to do one of two things: to attack, or to defend and save energy,” added Allegri, whose side face Sampdoria in Serie A on Sunday. “We were very good in the first half, but not in the second.”
Juventus go into the draw for the Champions League quarter-finals along with the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid, but Allegri would not be drawn on any of their potential opponents.
“Whoever comes we must face with courage,” he said. “We will have the strength to go to the final.”