Selfish Juve players blasted for costly errors

A frustrated Massimiliano Allegri during the 0-0 draw.
A frustrated Massimiliano Allegri during the 0-0 draw. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

TURIN (Italy) • Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has slammed the selfish players whose misses heaped unwelcome pressure on the Italian champions, following a goal-less draw with Champions League rivals Borussia Moen- chengladbach.

After beating Manchester City and Sevilla, last season's beaten finalists were fully expected to claim their third straight win to keep City at arm's length.

But a determined performance from the revived Bundesliga side, the English team's last-gasp win over Sevilla, and a string of misses in Turin on Wednesday means Juve's lead on Manuel Pellegrini's side at the top of Group D has been cut to just one point.

Allegri pointed the finger at unnamed players when he lamented their inability to create many goalscoring chances.

"We had three situations in which we had players who were better placed in goal-scoring positions," said Allegri, who in an earlier interview with Mediaset claimed that some players "made the wrong choices because they were selfish".

He added: "Maybe they didn't see they were there, but these are things we have to improve on. We had to deal with a lot of counter attacks, and then if you make a bundle of errors, winning becomes difficult.

"We're making too many mistakes in the final 30 metres of the pitch and not scoring enough."

The hosts hogged the ball but were unable to find a breakthrough with Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata both going close, while Mario Mandzukic had a penalty appeal rejected by referee Craig Thomson on 66 minutes.

It is the second successive game in which Juve have failed to find the net, following a goal-less draw away to Inter Milan at the San Siro on Sunday.

While Juventus failed to make a mark on the scoresheet on Wednesday, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon entered the club's record books as he beat Alessandro del Piero's mark for minutes played for the Old Lady of Italian football.

Del Piero previously held the record, having played 48,867 minutes for the club, but it was surpassed by Buffon in the 73rd minute of an exasperating evening for Juventus.

"I overtook del Piero, but I (would) prefer the success of the team, to share it with friends, the public and the fans," a disappointed Buffon said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2015, with the headline 'Selfish Juve players blasted for costly errors'. Print Edition | Subscribe