Juventus Turin coach Massimiliano Allegri has defended his team despite the defeat and the red card for offensive player Moise Kean a few days before the duel with SC Freiburg in the Europa League. “We have to stay calm,” said Allegri after the 0-1 (0-0) in Serie A at AS Roma. “We have to recover well and think about the Europa League,” demanded the 55-year-old.

There, the Italian football champions will receive SC Freiburg in the round of 16 first leg on Thursday. The first competitive defeat since the end of January came at the worst possible time for Juve. There was a lot of criticism afterwards, especially of the Italian national player Kean, who saw the red card just 40 seconds after his substitution for kicking his opponent (90th minute).

“He made a mistake, he apologized,” Allegri said of the 23-year-old’s action. “He made a mistake because he caused problems for the team. That’s something you have to learn from,” said the coach. Kean was held by his opponent Gianluca Mancini and then kicked him with full force.

The former series champion Juve is only seventh in Serie A after 25 match days with 35 points and has to fear for renewed participation in the European Cup. The Turiners had been deducted 15 points for accounting fraud. “You’ve never seen a situation in football like Juventus are going through this year,” said Allegri, pointing out that without the deduction his team would be second in the table. “I have to compliment the boys, we still have big goals that we want to achieve.”

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