Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri praised his side’s maturity on Wednesday after the Italian champions left it late to record a 2-0 win over 10-man Porto in their Champions League Last 16 tie.
Substitutes Marko Pjaca and Dani Alves got the goals after Alex Telles was sent off for two yellow cards, leaving Porto with just 10 men for more than an hour.
“The team did well in terms of character and we were only under pressure for five minutes, then controlled the game both with 11 against 11 and 11 against 10,” Allegri said.
“The lads were patient, tried to widen the opposition and we brought home an important victory. It could’ve been 3-0, but this is fine.”
It was even more impressive considering key defender Leonardo Bonucci watched the game from the stands after being dropped following a touchline row at the weekend with Allegri.
“During the season there are always going to be moments of tension, but we were able to ride it out,” he said.
Juve are unbeaten since changing to a new 4-2-3-1 formation.
“I wanted to change system because the team needed more room to breathe. We have to improve and become more confident in this system, there’s a long way to go and we can do so much better,” said Allegri.
“Games are not just played with 14 figures who take to the field, but all 23 were concentrated. There are many targets this season and we need everyone to show hunger and enjoyment.
“The lads showed their maturity tonight. It wasn’t easy for Porto, as Juve are in great form and devastating when moving the ball quickly. Porto only ever defended tonight.”
Allegri also praised the maturity of sub Pjaca, who came off the bench to notch his first goal for Juve.
“I already saw from Saturday that the lad was changing attitude and he understood that some things are not enough when playing in Italian football. He is changing his attitude and already has the technique, pace and talent. He is young and we need patience with young players,” said Allegri.