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Chiellini: Juventus knew Tottenham would give up chances

Juventus came from behind to knock Tottenham out of the Champions League, but it came as no surprise to centre-back Giorgio Chiellini.

NEWS
08 Mar 2018, 04:19 IST
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giorgio chiellini - cropped
Giorgio Chiellini celebrates with Gonzalo Higuain and Andrea Barzagli

Giorgio Chiellini claims Juventus expected Tottenham to give up chances in Wednesday's Champions League clash due to their lack of experience.

Son Heung-min put Spurs ahead in the last-16 second leg at Wembley, but goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala in three second-half minutes sealed a 2-1 win for Juve and a 4-3 aggregate victory.

Spurs fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in Turin and were the better team for much of the first hour in London, but a tactical switch from Massimiliano Allegri proved decisive as the visitors kept their treble hopes alive.

Chiellini, who produced a fine display at centre-back, believes Spurs' comparative lack of experience was a key factor in their failure to see out a result.

"It was an amazing night," he told BT Sport. "It was very difficult, we knew before this match and before the first game [that it would be], but we believed.

"They have fantastic players: [Harry] Kane, [Christian] Eriksen, [Dele] Alli, Son, but they concede many chances every game. At the end of first half, we believed, we said to keep calm and the chance will arrive.

"It's the history of Tottenham: they always create many chances to score so much, but they miss something to arrive at the end. 

"We believe in history. We saw yesterday, in Paris Saint-Germain-Real Madrid, experience is important, and we used our skill.

"We had to be concentrated and score when we had the chance we do it and we arrive to the quarter-finals. We have improved year by year and match by match and we improve with many players. It is very difficult but we are here."

The game was preceded by a minute's silence for former Fiorentina captain Davide Astori, who died last Sunday, and Chiellini was seen fighting back tears in the centre-circle.

The 33-year-old, an ex-Italy team-mate of Astori's, paid another emotional tribute as he confirmed plans to attend Thursday's funeral in Florence.

"We dedicate to him not only this match, but with every mind," he said. "I have cried many times.

"He was a fantastic player. He's always in our hearts. Tomorrow, we go to give the last 'ciao' together."

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