The star man scored in both legs of the Italian side’s Champions League tie, but it wasn’t enough to carry Juve through to the last four
Cristiano Ronaldo was not enough to help Juventus overcome what Massimiliano Allegri has termed an “emergency situation” for the Italian giants.
Allegri said there was no over-reliance on the club’s star man, who joined in the summer after winning the Champions League the last three years, and four of the last five, with Real Madrid.
But Allegri does not believe the other players in the side were waiting on magic from Ronaldo and pointed to an “emergency situation” in terms of fitness as the limiting factor for his club.
“Ronaldo has given us a lot over the course of the campaign, but when you reach the quarter-final, you need every player,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’ve always said that to win the Champions League, you need to reach a certain stage in good form and with good fitness levels. We’ve been in a bit of an emergency situation for a while and that can only be sustained for so long.
“We were missing four or five players tonight. Daniele Rugani and Leonardo Bonucci had good games for 50 minutes or so, but we lost our unity and organisation, giving Ajax the advantage.
“[Matthijs] De Ligt was meant to be man-marked, but he got away. Details make the difference. On the three goals we conceded to Ajax, unfortunately two and a half counted as our gifts.”
Allegri thinks the lack of options proved costly for Juve as they were forced to turn to inexperienced players off the bench in such a crucial tie.
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“When you reach the quarter-finals, it’s better to have as many options as possible, because these ties are decided by details, substitutions and options off the bench,” he said.
“We had a lot of players struggling with fitness issues and the two legs were only a week apart. We had a young player like [Moise] Kean in the second half, but there’s a knock-on effect, as it allowed [Frenkie] De Jong more time on the ball and Ajax took control.
“There are many young players in the squad who need to play and gain experience. Some might’ve paid at having two such big matches in the space of a week.”