Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini told UEFA.com that his side "deserved to qualify over 180 minutes" after they were unable to overturn a 2-1 deficit to SL Benfica and earn a home final.
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Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini told UEFA.com that his side "deserved to qualify over 180 minutes" after the Bianconeri fell at the lust hurdle ahead of the UEFA Europa League final in their own stadium. After losing 2-1 the first leg in Lisbon, the Italian champions failed to score at home against a resolute SL Benfica who showed "great commitment and desire to reach the final", according to the Italy centre-back.
Giorgio Chiellini, Juventus defender
It's a pity because we think we deserved to qualify over the 180 minutes, unfortunately we did not manage that but I think only small details, or a single event, decided the whole tie. We have to congratulate Benfica because they played a good game, with great commitment. They are a tough team, top-class, but we feel that we were the team who deserved to qualify for the final.
I saw a great Juventus for at least 65 minutes – maybe in the last ten to 15 minutes we were not as clear-headed because we had spent a lot of energy. The pitch was heavy due to the rain and it was more difficult to make important passes.
However I think we played in their half for 65 to 70 minutes while Gigi [Buffon]'s gloves were not even dirty at the end of the game. This is our main regret. Also in the first leg, they hardly had a shot on target beside the two goals they scored. We already said that the result [in Lisbon] was not fair on us and in the end it proved the decisive factor.
We knew it was going to be a difficult game tonight, but we must congratulate Benfica because many described them only as a side with good technique but tonight they also proved they had great commitment and desire to reach the final. They definitely deserve credit but we also feel that we deserved more.
Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus defender
Of course, we were expecting a different result but in football the best team doesn't always win. Benfica only focused on defending and limiting our game but they go through. We must keep our heads up because we are aware that we gave everything we had to reach the final.
Now we have to turn the page and achieve another objective on Monday when we can win the Scudetto for the third season in a row. We did not create many opportunities to score, but two or three of them were really big. Maybe we had to be more determined in front of their goal – that is crucial in games like this one.
Antonio Conte, Juventus coach
Some things did not work out tonight – we did not have and luck and that's a pity. Benfica defended really well. I think we only played for 40 minutes tonight. They have reached the final with just a couple of shots on goal, but that's football.
We did all we could. It's been a long, extraordinary and exhausting season for us, because we reached the Europa League semi-finals and we still have to win the Scudetto. I'm really disappointed tonight because we deserved to go through.
If you look at the stats you will see that they only had a couple of shots on goal, but scored two goals. They have a lot of experience and they made it count. We are tired for sure, but I don't think that this was the problem tonight. My players did well tonight, while Benfica were lucky in the first-leg.