Defender Giorgio Chiellini told UEFA.com that Juventus must "up the tempo" if they are to stand a chance of overturning their 2-0 UEFA Champions League quarter-final deficit against FC Bayern München next week.
Juventus boast the best defensive record in the competition this term but David Alaba's first-minute opener reset the timer on their 490 minutes without conceding. They initially responded well to going behind, though Antonio Conte's men were ultimately fortunate not to lose by more than Thomas Müller's deserved second for Bayern after the break.
"We weren't really up to it today," said Chiellini after Juve's 18-match unbeaten run on the continent came to an end. "We knew Bayern have a team full of great players and tonight they were superb. They played with such intensity for the whole 90 minutes and we simply weren't prepared for it. That's what made the difference out on the pitch tonight."
The towering centre-back recognised that his side will need to equal, if not increase, that intensity if they are to be capable of overturning the two-goal deficit against the runaway Bundesliga leaders in Turin next Wednesday. "We need to up the tempo, like Bayern did tonight, and if we can put in a good performance in the return leg there's still hope that we can get through," the Italy player said.
Juventus's task in chasing the tie will be made all the more arduous by the absence of two of their most energetic performers. Midfield duo Arturo Vidal and Stephan Lichtsteiner each picked up yellow cards which will keep them out of the second leg, yet Chiellini is confident the Bianconeri possess the necessary strength in depth to compensate.
"We'll miss them because they're two top players, but we have a big squad," said the UEFA EURO 2012 finalist. "I couldn't tell you who's going to replace them – that's up to the coach – but the team that does start, and the players that come in, will give everything to reach the next round. All the players are going to have to step up and there are a lot of areas we need to improve. We know it's going to be difficult and we're up against a quality side, but we're not finished yet."
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