Manninger calls for more of the same

Juventus goalkeeper Alex Manninger told UEFA.com he would like to see his side "start more aggressively more often" after they struck three first-half goals to pile the pressure on Fulham FC.

Alexander Manninger, Hasan Salihamidžić, Antonio Candreva, and Bobby Zamora speak to the media about the victory for Juventus in Italy.

After seeing Juventus score three times in an eventful first half, Alex Manninger attributed his side's victory over Fulham FC to the speed with which they started the match. "We will have to start more aggressively more often," said the Bianconeri goalkeeper.

Manninger had a relatively quiet evening, with the exception of five frenetic minutes before the interval, when the former Arsenal FC custodian saved from Brede Hangeland, Bobby Zamora and Zoltán Gera. However, after David Trezeguet made it 3-1 on the stroke of half-time, following on from Nicola Legrottaglie's ninth-minute header, Jonathan Zebina's wonder strike and a deflected Dickson Etuhu reply, Juventus kept the visitors at bay in the second period.

"If you'd asked me before the game, I'd have taken the 3-1 straight away because we know they are a tough side," Manninger told UEFA.com. "Fulham are a good, organised team and they've had a good Premier League season so we knew it would be hard to score. But we were really up for it and to score three goals is a great advantage for us. We said beforehand that we needed to start more aggressively. That was our strength last year, and that's always been Juve's strength in the past. We need to take the game to our opponents all season and we'll have to do it now to progress."

Juventus contained the London outfit superbly after the break, and, despite Etuhu's goal, Alberto Zaccheroni's team were largely satisfied with their night's work. "We gave a superb first-half performance and not conceding in the second was really important," midfielder Hasan Salihamidžić told UEFA.com. "It would have been even better had we not conceded at all, but I'm happy with the result. We are always dangerous from set-pieces, Nicola [Legrottaglie] is really powerful in the air and Jonathan [Zebina] scored an unbelievable goal."

Fulham were left wondering what might have been after reducing the arrears only for Trezeguet to make it 3-1 in first-half stoppage time. "We're disappointed we conceded two goals from set-plays," Zamora told UEFA.com. "But we created a few chances in the second half, gave them a good game and I don't think the score reflects the performance. They started strongly, got a good goal. It was a bit of a kick in the teeth for us, but we continued to work really hard and stuck it out in the second half and made a few good chances, which on another day could have gone in."

 

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