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Juve looks to Monaco after Parma shock

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has called for his team to forget their shock defeat to Parma and turn their focus on beating Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.

Juve looks to Monaco after Parma shock
"I hope this setback serves us well," said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Preparations for what is the Italian champions' most crucial fixture of the season have been far from perfect.

At the Enrico Tardini stadium on Saturday a Juventus side missing Gianluigi Buffon and Carlos Tevez among others failed to convert several scoring chances before conceding a 1-0 defeat to a club that entered administration last month after being declared bankrupt.

Although Juve's title hopes have not been affected – they now lead Lazio by 12 points with eight games remaining – Allegri is confident a different Juventus will emerge on Tuesday when they will be under pressure to seal a first leg victory before the return leg in the Principality.

"I hope this setback serves us well, although I'm sure that we will see an altogether different Juventus on Tuesday," Allegri said after Saturday's defeat.

"We're not used to losing. We were a little listless, we lacked bite and aggression. But now we have to put this display behind us. It would be stupid to let a defeat like this get in the way of our Champions League dream."

The defeat to Parma, who have entered administration and failed to pay their players all season, was Juve's second reverse of the league season although Juve seemed out of sorts in the absence of Buffon, Tevez and defender Andrea Barzagli.

Buffon, who had an infection, and Tevez, who spent his rare day off at Lake Maggiore, will return to Allegri's starting line-up for Tuesday as Juve look to take a first step towards securing their first semi-final appearance since 2003 when they beat Barcelona over two legs in the quarters.

While influential Frenchman Paul Pogba is still sidelined with injury, midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo should start on the bench having recently recovered from injury, leaving Claudio Marchisio with the job of orchestrating play towards lively Uruguayan front man Roberto Pereyra, likely to play in the 'hole' behind Alvaro Morata and Tevez.    

Doubts remain over Barzagli, who is nursing a sore calf. Indeed his availability could determine whether Allegri deploys the 3-5-2 formation he has used sparingly this season or the 4-3-1-2 that saw Juve swipe Borussia Dortmund aside 5-1 on aggregate in their last 16 tie.

Either way, Juventus have been impervious at home in both Serie A and Europe this season and have never lost at home against French opposition. In last season's Europa League quarter-finals they defeated Lyon 2-1 in Turin to complete a 3-1 aggregate success.

Monaco will be without captain Jeremy Toulalan after the defender limped off injured in a 3-0 win over Caen on Friday, a result which nonetheless was crucial to Monaco's confidence before they make the short trip across the Franco-Italian border.

Monaco are targeting their first semi-final appearance since the 2003-2004 season when they went all the way to the final before being humbled by FC Porto.

Coach Leonardo Jardim said: "I think the team played very well and now looking ahead to Tuesday the best thing was for the team was to win, which gives us confidence and the desire in regards to our away performances."

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FOOTBALL

Euro 2020: Concern about virus spread after Italy players’ ‘unauthorised’ victory parade through Rome

Italy’s national football team reportedly insisted on taking an open-top bus tour through Rome to show off their European Championship trophy to crowds of fans - despite city authorities forbidding it amid concern about the spread of coronavirus.

Euro 2020: Concern about virus spread after Italy players' ‘unauthorised’ victory parade through Rome
Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The team’s bus parade through the city on Monday night following their Euro 2020 triumph “was not authorised”, according to Matteo Piantedosi the head of Rome’s prefettura (the public safety authority).

Thousands of fans packed the streets of central Rome to see the team celebrate their cup win after beating England on penalties in the final.

READ ALSO: ‘Football came home’: Italy celebrates Euro 2020 victory over England

Piantedosi told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Wednesday: “We had denied permission to celebrate Italy’s victory in the European Championships on the open bus, but the pact was not respected.”

Piantedosi, who is Rome’s top public security official, said police had “no choice” but to let the parade go ahead after players Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci insisted on it.

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

A meeting had been held on Friday with the Italian football federation (FIGC) to discuss plans for the celebrations if Italy won, said Piantedosi.

“I had agreed the line with Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and Chief of Police Lamberto Giannini,” he said.

“It was clearly explained that [the parade] was not possible. We said we could not authorize it.”

Piantedosi said the Italian football federation (FIGC) initially agreed to hold a “controlled” ceremony in Rome’s central Piazza del Popolo instead of the parade.

After players insisted on the bus tour on Monday however, Piantedosi said, authorities reluctantly let them go ahead due to fears of sparking public disorder.

“At that point we had no choice but to acknowledge the situation and handle it in the best way we could,” he said.

READ ALSO: Covid cases on the rise in Europe once again as WHO warns of Euro 2020 risk

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

In a statement on Wednesday, the FIGC said it had acted responsibly but decided not to disappoint fans who had come to celebrate with the team.

Footage of large crowds thronging the bus carrying the ‘Azzurri’ and the European Championship trophy through the capital however fuelled concerns about new outbreaks of coronavirus, after Italy’s infection rate began to rise again last week.

The World Health Organization warned earlier this month that crowds and gatherings connected to football matches will fuel a new rise in cases across Europe this summer.

READ ALSO: Delta variant in Italy will be ‘prevalent within 10 days’: health official

Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza also voiced concerns on Monday about the consequences of people gathering to watch sporting events.

He said the European football championship win was “a great joy after terrible months,” but “even in these moments of national pride we can’t forget that our ‘game’ to defeat Covid is not yet won.”

There are currently minimal health restrictions in place across Italy, however masks are supposed to be worn in crowded public places, including outdoors.

“Footage shows that police were virtually the only ones [in the crowd] wearing masks,” said Piantedosi.

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