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Juventus winner leaves Bonucci abuzz

Published: Friday 4 April 2014, 8.17CET
Leonardo Bonucci gave Juventus a late win at Olympique Lyonnais and said they hope to clinch Serie A as soon as possible to focus on Europe, not that Samuel Umtiti is giving up.
by Chris Burke
from Stade de Gerland

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Published: Friday 4 April 2014, 8.17CET

Juventus winner leaves Bonucci abuzz

Leonardo Bonucci gave Juventus a late win at Olympique Lyonnais and said they hope to clinch Serie A as soon as possible to focus on Europe, not that Samuel Umtiti is giving up.

Leonardo Bonucci struck with five minutes to go to give Juventus a 1-0 first-leg win at Olympique Lyonnais in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals and was delighted to put the rare weekend defeat by SSC Napoli behind them. The centre-back made the difference after a sustained period of pressure and Lyon's players were left ruing their late lapse in concentration, though midfielder Samuel Umtiti stressed that he and his team-mates "believe we can do it" in next Thursday's decider.

Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus defender
It was an important goal. This away goal gives us an advantage if you look at the second leg, although we shouldn't relax. But if we play like we did here in the second half we can beat Lyon and continue with our dream.

No, we weren't tired because of the Napoli match. The only mistake was that we maybe didn't approach this match in a correct way. We are not tired – we were running until the 95th minute, at Napoli and also here. Of course the defeat at Napoli hurt, but it didn't leave any mark. 

We want to win every match because we are Juventus. When we go onto the pitch then we want to win. Of course the sooner we bring home the domestic league, the sooner we can focus on European competition.

The celebration after the goal is the one I do with my friends, it's a little game between us, and is a very important dedication, it's for a friend and it was dedicated to him. 

Antonio Conte, Juventus coach
It was tough today, as Lyon were above all trying to stop us playing by man-marking all over the field. In that type of situation, you have to hope there's a one-on-one that goes well or that moves practised in training go as planned.

Lyon lost intensity in the second half – we moved better off the ball and created several chances. I think the victory is a deserved result, but we know we've achieved nothing yet as there's a second leg to play and a semi-final to reach.

[Carlos] Tévez felt a little pain in his thigh during his last game against Parma and we agreed that the moment it started bothering him he should come off, as we didn't want to take any risks.

The players who came off the bench did very well and I am very happy. Not enough people praise [Sebastian] Giovinco, who in my view has incredible quality. He needs to believe in himself even more and realise he can make the difference at a big club like Juventus the same way he did at Parma.

Samuel Umtiti, Lyon midfielder
We managed to follow the coach's instructions for 80 or 85 minutes. We gave a lot tonight, physically and mentally. We knew we'd have to give everything and we did. Defensively, we were pretty good, but then we conceded a corner and a goal which hurt us after all the effort we put in. But this is the kind of game that will help us improve on every level.

The coach found the right words in the warm-up, even if we didn't need to talk beforehand to get ourselves in the right frame of mind for a game like this. Everyone was committed today, we knew what we wanted to do and how to do it. It's a shame to have conceded a goal at the end, but we can't go back in time.

It's going to be tough now, but we believe we can do it. We'll go there to score, and in any case we don't have any choice. We won't go crazy over there, but we're obliged to get a goal.

Jordan Ferri, Lyon midfielder
We were solid defensively for the whole game, but perhaps we lost focus on the set piece at the end and we were punished for it – when you're playing against great teams, you can't afford to do that. We showed that we can play as well, but it's frustrating to concede a goal at home.

We're proud of our performance because we followed our game plan and matched them well. Their only solution was to send in long balls, as we managed to limit their options. We played a good game, with everyone solid and working together. We started well in the second half with a string of corners, but we couldn't take advantage from our set pieces. We maybe should have been more dangerous when we were on top.

We have nothing to lose now. This changes nothing for us as we'll go there looking to qualify and pull off an upset.

Maxime Gonalons, Lyon midfielder
A 0-0 draw would have been a very good result for the second leg. Not conceding would have left us in good shape, but unfortunately we conceded from a set piece five minutes from the end. It's a shame because we played a good match overall and held our own against this great Juve team.

It was a tactical battle, but against Italian teams it's always the same. It was quite a tight game with not many chances, but we followed our instructions, put in an enormous amount of work and talked to each other a lot. Unfortunately, we didn't come away with a reward for that.

We have to believe we can do it, even if it'll be very tough. We need to score and then see what happens afterwards. We won't be giving up: anything is possible in football and Lyon have already turned around worse situations in the past.

Last updated: 05/04/14 0.01CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000472/match=2012669/postmatch/quotes/index.html#goal+leaves+bonucci+abuzz

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