Del Piero: Juventus need ‘perfect’ performance in return leg

MILAN: Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero (pic) says his team need to deliver a “perfect” performance if they are to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first-leg of their Champions League tie with Real Madrid. 

Although Real dominated Tuesday’s game, a 31st minute glancing header from Real defender Ivan Helguera was all that separated the sides leaving the Italians with a chance of making the quarter-finals. 

“The only recipe for beating them in Turin is to produce a perfect performance,” said Del Piero, who was often left isolated in attack as Juve came under pressure from the Spaniards. 

“We only managed that in part in Spain, we had some good chances and so there is a bit of regret that we didn’t get a better result,” added the Italy international. 

“We kept things together well for the first half hour but then we stretched out and when you give players like they have plenty of space then it is over. 

“In the return game it will be vital to close down space and attack their defence. But we can do it.” 

Juve’s task in the return game has been made harder due to their failure to get a goal in Madrid, which means they need to score twice while not conceding at the Delle Alpi Stadium. 

If Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, a former Juve player, is in the same form as on Tuesday, that will be a mighty task. 

“Zizou had one of those Zizou nights,” said Juve coach Fabio Capello. “Along with Roberto Carlos he was their main threat.  

“In the second leg we will have to keep a very close eye on both of them and above all to the threat on the counter-attack that is the biggest danger.” 

Juve should have their French striker David Trezeguet fit in time for the return on March 9 after he missed the first leg with flu. 

Czech Republic midfielder Pavel Nedved, substituted in the first half after a clash of heads with Real Madrid’s Raul Bravo, should recover in time for the second-leg clash. – Reuters

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