Diego told UEFA.com Juventus’ 2-1 win at AFC Ajax was a masterclass in striking economy, concluding: “Two or three chances and two beautiful goals – it was perfect for us.”
Diego enjoyed a “perfect” night’s work after Juventus came from a goal down to win 2-1 at AFC Ajax in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
The Bianconeri made a slow start in Amsterdam and paid the price when Miralem Sulejmani crowned a lightning counterattack in the 17th minute to put Ajax in front. Amauri headed Juve level 15 minutes later, however, and a second, similar goal from the same player 13 minutes after half-time gave Alberto Zaccheroni’s side a firm grip on the tie.
Diego was quick to salute an efficient display. “Ajax have a very good team and the first chance they had, they scored, but we were very intelligent, and Amauri was perfect,” the playmaker told UEFA.com. “Two or three chances and two beautiful goals – it was perfect for us.” Indeed, the visitors managed only four goal attempts at the Amsterdam ArenA with the home side mustering 19, and Diego admitted victory had not been easy to come by.
“It was really hard,” he added. “Ajax are a really strong team, especially at home, but we played very well. The coach was really intelligent. Ajax put one against one with me so it was hard to play in midfield, but that means there’s more space for other players. It’s not important how many chances you create but when you have a chance, you must score. That was the secret for us.”
Diego singled out Juve captain Alessandro Del Piero, who capped a vibrant display with a key role in both goals, adding: “He’s been great in our last two games and that’s really important for us. When he plays well, it is better for everybody.”
Despite the all-round satisfaction, however, the Brazilian recognises that nothing can be taken for granted ahead of next week’s deciding leg in Italy. “Ajax are really strong and are quick with the ball so we’ll have to be careful for the next game because nothing is decided. We played a good game and got an important result to take back to Turin. Now we have a very big chance of going to the next round, but we have to play the same next week.”