By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The Bianconeri knew that a loss, coupled with a Chelsea win would send them packing out of the competition, but Antonio Conte's men managed to dig deep and battled hard to a slightly fortuitous win over Shakhtar courtesy of an unlucky own goal by Olexander Kucher.
Juventus win over Shakhtar meant that the Serie A champions would finish top of the group, while Shakhtar, who had already secured qualification into the last 16 of the Champions League prior to this game, are faced with the prospect of being drawn against the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich in the next stage of the competition.
Alessio, standing in for the banned Conte on the Juventus dugout, praised his players for coming up with the goods against a tough Shakhtar side.
"We knew we were in for a tough game and coming out on top fills us with pride," Alessio was quoted as saying by the official Juventus website.
"It was no simple task today [Wednesday] but once we managed to put the reins on their forwards they found it hard to play their usual game and support the front men.
We're delighted to go through and to have qualified as group winners.
Credit must go to these lads because even without Antonio they've done everything that's been asked of them.
As time has passed we've become more and more confident in our own means. We showed that first against Chelsea then again this evening [Wednesday]."
Although the Bianconeri finished top, they could still be drawn against the likes of Arsenal, Real Madrid and Porto in the next stage of the competition, and Alessio was quite clear about which side he would like to avoid.
"It's hard to say which side I'd choose, they are all difficult, but I'd rather we didn't get Real Madrid," Alessio added.
Meanwhile, Leonardo Bonucci claimed that although his side needed only a draw against the Ukranian outfit to progress, the Bianconeri only ever had victory on their minds.
"When you step onto the pitch your aim is always to win, regardless of any calculations you might be able to make," Bonucci declared.
"We prepared for this match differently than we did the meeting in Turin, we got the measure of them and didn't run after them all the time. It meant we had fewer problems with their through balls and their pacy players."
Bonucci also dedicated the win to Conte and claimed that the Bianconeri would only get better once the 43-year-old tactician returned from his touchline ban.
"We made the most of our counter-attacks tonight [Wednesday] and that's thanks to the fantastic work the coach does with us on the training pitch every day," Bonucci added.
"We've paid him back by getting into the last 16 - we owed it to him. He's suffered being away from the pitch these last few months and now he'll come back stronger than ever."
Juventus will now turn their attentions to the Serie A when they travel to the Renzo Barbera to take on Palermo in their next game.