UEFA Champions League; Allegri 'ashamed' as Juve falls at Maccabi Haifa

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said he felt "ashamed" of his team that played without "heart and passion" in a 2-0 Champions League defeat at Maccabi Haifa on Tuesday to sit on the brink of elimination.

Omer Atzili scored twice to give the Israeli team its first victory in four matches in Group H in this year's elite European competition.

Juve is third in its group, equal on three points with Maccabi, which remains bottom, and five behind Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain, which drew later in the evening.

"There is only silence after this bad result," said Allegri. "We're not talking here about technical or tactical questions, it is a question of heart and passion. We play too individually."

The 55-year-old ruled out talk of resignation.

"Resignation? Never, when a challenge becomes more difficult it's even more beautiful, you have to get out of it with courage, desire and passion."

After the game, Juventus president Andrea Agnelli expressed his dismay but repeated his support for Allegri.

"I'm ashamed of what's happening right now," said Agnelli to Sky Sport Italia.  "There is no one person culpable, it's not the coach's fault if we can't win a tackle. Allegri is going to remain coach of Juventus."

Allegri agreed with the club president's verdict.

"Agnelli is right when he says we must be ashamed," said Allegri, who lead the club to two Champions League runners-up finishes in 2015 and 2017. "Especially for the first half, where we did nothing and they put us in difficulty from the start."

The hosts dominated the first half at the Sammy Ofer Stadium and took the lead after seven minutes.

Atzili out-jumped the visiting defense to meet a cross from Pierre Cornud, and although he turned his head away just before making contact, the ball struck his back. Wojciech Szczesny reached the ball, but it crawled through his outstretched fingers and in off the post.

Maccabi poured forward. Tjaronn Chery hit the bar. Szczesny saved from Atzili. The home team continued to dominate after Juventus midfielder Angel di Maria limped off with a thigh problem in the 24th minute. Three minutes before halftime, Atzili shaped to curl a left-footed shot inside the far post, but instead clipped it inside the near post with Szczesny rooted to his line.

Juventus managed its first strike on goal seconds before halftime, but American keeper Josh Cohen saved low from Dusan Vlahovic's header.

Juventus pressed from the start of the second half, and Cohen saved high from a Daniele Rugani header flying toward the top corner. He later saved from wingers Juan Cuadrado and Arkadiusz Milik but Maccabi created late chances as they held on comfortably.

In its third appearance in the Champions League group stage, Maccabi claimed its second big win 20 years after its first.

In its debut campaign, it beat Manchester United 3-0 at home in October 2002. It failed to progress then or in its second appearance in 2009-10.

© Agence France-Presse

3 comments about "UEFA Champions League; Allegri 'ashamed' as Juve falls at Maccabi Haifa".
  1. Santiago 1314, October 11, 2022 at 10:57 p.m.

    American Goalkeeper, Playing AND Winning at the Highest Level..
    For sure Ggg has to bring him IN to WC22.!?!?!?

  2. Ben Myers replied, October 12, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

    Yeah, but Cohen does not play in MLS!!!  Of course, Cohen should be in the team, but he has never been invited to USMNT training or anything. Even if Juve was playing poorly, they are still a handful.

  3. frank schoon replied, October 13, 2022 at 8:54 a.m.

    Santi, Ben, I didn't see the game but I've got my trusty Paramount+ to go back to....
    These types of games happen, Sh*t happens. In FA cup competition it happens where a 3rd division team beats a premier team....But lets not get excited because there was an American in goal for the winning team , so now all of a sudden he should be considered for the  US National Team....I wonder if the goalie for 3rd division team that beat a Premier team should be considered the English National team... 

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