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Bravo, Allegri: How Juventus subdued Sevilla

Massimiliano Allegri did not enjoy Juventus's 3-1 win at Sevilla but Graham Hunter says his tactical bravery in the final phase was something to be proud of.

Highlights: Watch Juventus comeback win against Sevilla

By normal criteria this should have been a night of clear and lasting satisfaction for Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

To face the three-in-a-row UEFA Europa League winners without Gonzalo Higuaín, Paulo Dybala and Andrea Barzagli, go 1-0 down and face a typhoon of attacks but still win 3-1 is no small achievement. However, his satisfaction lasted the blink of an eye after the final whistle before he began to analyse and deconstruct the parts of a successful evening which would irk him all the way home to Turin.

Allegri did not like the way his team went behind and was unhappy with their approach to breaking down the Sevilla defensive block in the second half, when the hosts tried to compensate for the absence of red-carded Franco Vázquez.

Moreover, he was niggled by the fact that, prior to Juventus' third goal, it was his side who looked a little like they were "holding on" rather than the exhausted and depleted Sevilla.

Using phrases like "we needed to be less frantic" and "I didn't enjoy those last five minutes when things were too crazy and we failed to hold on to the ball sufficiently", Allegri shrugged off some deserved praise.

However, there was a passage about which the former Cagliari midfielder could afford to feel proud. Juventus were certainly trying to win the match at 1-1 while the other Group H encounter was 0-0 in Zagreb, but the instant that word reached him that Lyon had scored, meaning a draw was no longer sufficient to guarantee Juventus qualification, he made a daring structural alteration that helped yield Leonardo Bonucci's goal.

Highlights: Watch Juventus beat Sevilla

Allegri took off Patrice Evra, moved Alex Sandro wide left, used only two at the back, Bonucci and Daniele Rugani, and had Claudio Marchisio protecting in midfield. It meant that, with Stefano Sturaro on in midfield, there was often – from the 72nd minute onwards – a line of five Juve players strung out across the pitch, from touchline to touchline, in front of the Sevilla penalty area.

Sevilla pulled players back from midfield to cover the full-back positions and required Steven N'Zonzi – the home side's best player on the night – to drop deeper from central midfield to a position in front of the centre-backs.

That left, it transpired, empty space for Bonucci to time his run to the edge of the box, unmarked and unblocked, and fire in a dramatic goal which brought Juve within sight of their firmly stated objective – qualification for the knockout rounds before matchday six.

The Juve coach's tactic had pinned Sevilla back and left nobody in position to clear the loose ball. Allegri may not be thrilled by everything his team did, but he can be pleased with his own role in how the most important box, qualification, was ticked.