Fabio Capello described it as "a serious blow" as Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League before the knock-out phase.

The former Juventus, Roma and Milan head coach said Massimiliano Allegri's team lacked spirit and fight as they went down 4-3 at Benfica, with two late goals for the Italians serving only as pitiful consolation.

Juventus, who have just one win from five games, could yet finish bottom of Group H, as their last opponents are mighty Paris Saint-Germain who are battling with Benfica for top spot.

Should Juventus lose that one, and Maccabi Haifa take even a point from their home game with Benfica, the Turin giants will sink to fourth place and miss out on the Europa League.

Speaking on Italian channel Sky Sport, Capello said: "Allegri lacked the players on whom he founded this team, but they did not show character and determination.

"Even if they do not have these players, they must always demonstrate who Juve are, a team that never give up, want to fight, and tonight they didn't show themselves as they have in the past."

Capello added, according to Tuttosport: "This is a serious blow, you have to start from this moment with everyone together. I don't seem to see this spirit."

The 76-year-old, who also coached England, Russia and Real Madrid in his storied career, said Juventus were simply sluggish compared to the pace they need to play at.

"Juve are always under pace even when they win in the league," Capello said. "They win because at that moment they have better players than the opponents. When they have found players of equal or superior quality, this is the result."

Juventus will be absent from the last-16 stage for the first time since the 2013-14 season, and their points tally is the lowest they have managed after five games of any previous Champions League campaign where they have featured.

Capello found praise for teenage substitutes Samuel Iling and Fabio Miretti, however, commending them for showing purpose and quality.

"At this point, Juve must think about recovering in the league," Capello said, with Juventus sitting eighth in Serie A, "but they have players who may be ready for the future."

Thierry Henry feels Juventus have issues "from top to bottom" and sacking Massimiliano Allegri will not change their fortunes.

A 4-3 defeat to Benfica on Tuesday saw Juve crash out of the Champions League, while they will exit European competition entirely if Maccabi Haifa better their result in the final round of group-stage matches.

The Bianconeri's loss in Lisbon was their third in five games across all competitions, with Allegri's side down in eighth in Serie A and already 10 points behind leaders Napoli.

Juve's first group-stage elimination in the Champions League since 2013-14 increased pressure on Allegri, but former Bianconeri striker Henry believes replacing the coach will not change their situation.

"I wouldn't go there. As you know, I'm on the other side of the line now, so it is very difficult to call out a manager," he told CBS Sports.

"I think there is a lot of problems from top to bottom; it is not only at the bottom and on the field where things are not going well.

"I said it when [Andrea] Pirlo left, I said it when [Maurizio] Sarri left, he is not a bad coach.

"What is going on behind closed doors, we don't know. It takes time sometimes. It's not that if you just bring in Allegri, it is going to work.

"Where are you going to go? What is going to be the plan? Who are you going to bring in? You need to let people work for a little while to make change, to change who is going to leave, who is going to come and play in this system.

"We've seen it with [Mikel] Arteta [at Arsenal]; it took him two years to put a decent team on the field, and people were having a go.

"Are you going to stay with the man or are you not? Think about it carefully. They thought that bringing him [Allegri] in, things were going to change, and it hasn't happened yet."

Juventus were condemned to a humiliating Champions League exit by a 4-3 loss at Benfica on Wednesday, as Rafa Silva's brace helped the outstanding hosts seal their own place in the last 16. 

Massimiliano Allegri's team arrived at the Estadio da Luz requiring a win to stay in contention in Group C, but were distinctly second-best after Dusan Vlahovic cancelled out Antonio Silva's opener. 

Benfica stormed into a 3-1 lead by the halfway mark as Rafa added to Joao Mario's penalty with a glorious backheel, and the winger doubled up with another wonderful goal after the break. 

Late efforts from Arkadiusz Milik and Weston McKennie ensured a grandstand finish, but it was too little, too late for Juventus as Roger Schmidt's men held firm.

It came as no surprise when Juventus fell behind after starting slowly, as the 18-year-old Silva met Enzo Fernandes' inviting cross with a glancing header to beat Wojciech Szczesny after 17 minutes.

The visitors levelled against the run of play when a VAR review overturned an offside call against Vlahovic four minutes later, but there was to be no such reprieve when Juan Cuadrado clumsily handled in his own area with 28 minutes gone.

Joao Mario picked out the top-left corner from the spot to re-establish Benfica's lead, then turned provider to tee up Rafa's flicked finish seven minutes later as the hosts threatened to run riot.

Rafa needed just five minutes to double his tally after the restart, dinking another cultured finish beyond Szczesny after latching onto Alejandro Grimaldo's throughball.

Juventus then gave themselves hope with a quickfire double; first with Milik volleying home Samuel Iling-Junior's cross before McKennie converted following a goalmouth scramble with 11 minutes remaining.

However, Benfica missed the best chance of an end-to-end finish when Rafa crashed a shot against the post, leaving the hosts to celebrate a famous win.

Massimiliano Allegri is confident Juventus "will be fine" against Benfica on Tuesday, even with their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread.

A shock defeat to Maccabi Haifa last time out has given Juve no room for error, with anything less than victory in Lisbon resulting in their elimination from Europe's elite club competition.

Even with a win this week, the Bianconeri would need another result against Paris Saint-Germain while hoping Benfica slip up at Maccabi.

Heading into matchday five, though, Allegri has no concerns, saying in Monday's news conference: "Tomorrow, I think it will be fine. I may be wrong, but I'm confident.

"We have only one result [to chase]; we are not yet eliminated from the Champions League, but neither have we qualified for the Europa League.

"Two games, six points to go, and our fate does not depend only on us. Benfica, on the other hand, are the owners of their own destiny."

Defender Alex Sandro is similarly backing Juve to "prove our worth".

"This game has a great value," he said. "Only the victory counts. We are here to win and play a great game. We are growing. And we know you can't go wrong anymore.

"We will go on the pitch to prove our worth. We hope to give Benfica their first defeat. I know them; some are very strong. It will be a very difficult game. There are players who can make the difference at any time."

Massimiliano Allegri backed his Juventus side to claim a vital Champions League win at Benfica after they thrashed Empoli 4-0 on Friday.

The Bianconeri followed up their derby victory over Torino last weekend with an impressive display at the Allianz Arena, where Moise Kean put them in front with his first goal since April.

Weston McKennie opened his Serie A account for the season to double their lead and there were two late goals for Adrien Rabiot as Juve moved above Inter into seventh place.

Allegri's future had been called into question following defeats to Milan and Maccabi Haifa, but the Turin giants look to have turned the corner.

They must win at Benfica on Tuesday to have any chance of qualifying for the Champions League round of 16 and head coach Allegri fancies their chances in Lisbon.

He said: "Tonight it was important to win because we are behind in the championship and we hadn't won two in a row.

"Unfortunately we have to chase in the championship for the points lost against Salernitana and Monza. Tuesday will be an important match for two reasons: we are not out of the Champions League and we are not even in the Europa League.

"We will face a strong team, we can go there and overturn the result [they were beaten at home by Benfica], we need to be confident."

Dusan Vlahovic says the Juventus players are firmly behind Massimiliano Allegri after they stopped the rot with a 1-0 Derby della Mole win at Torino.

Head coach Allegri has come under increasing pressure after Juve were beaten 2-0 by Maccabi Haifa this week on the back of a Serie A defeat at Milan.

Bianconeri president Andrea Agnelli came out in support of Allegri following the midweek loss to Maccabi, which left the Turin giants surely facing a Champions League exit.

Allegri ordered his players in for a training retreat ahead of the clash with Torino, putting them through double sessions.

Juve responded with a derby victory on Saturday, Vlahovic scoring the only goal at the game in the second half at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

And the Serbia striker made it clear the players want Allegri to stay on.

"We knew it wouldn't be easy because it's the derby and they're a tough team," said Vlahovic. "We won in their home, and it was really important to us, we remain together and united.

"Now, we are working game by game, and the message is that Juve will never give up.

"We're all behind the coach, and you learn more in difficulties, I'm available, and I give 100 per cent, and I want to keep going like this."

Juve's win against their city rivals was their first away from home this season.

Massimiliano Allegri freed his Juventus players to go home and "hug their families" after they lifted the gloom with a 1-0 Derby della Mole win over Torino.

Dusan Vlahovic scored the only goal of the game in the 74th minute to settle the derby at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on Saturday.

Under-pressure head coach Allegri had ordered his players to report for a training retreat after a 2-0 midweek Champions League defeat at Maccabi Haifa, which came on the back of a Serie A loss at Milan.

The Juve squad were put through their paces in double training sessions before facing their city rivals.

Allegri, who was given the backing of president Andrea Agnelli following a loss to Maccabi that left the Bianconeri facing a Champions League exit, says his players would not need to remain in their retreat after stopping the rot.

He told DAZN: "I told the guys that the team would be going home tonight to hug the families again."

Allegri made four changes to his starting line-up and went with a three-man defence in only a fourth Serie A win of the season for Juve, who moved up a place to seventh in the table.

The Bianconeri boss said it was the way his players approached the game that made the difference.

He said: "I was very serene on the bench because I saw that the team was playing a serious game."

Allegri added: "Regardless of the tactical part, today I liked the attitude. In a race the more duels you win, the more you have the chance to win the game.

"Football has evolved a lot, but this is always a topical aspect."

Juve's victory was also their first away from home this season and Allegri says they must kick on.

He said: "Today the boys showed that they are a team, an important group. The boys played a good match and I'm happy because it's the first away win.

"I'm sorry for this period, but sometimes there are things that go beyond what we can do. Today we took a first step, the team responded well, but now we have to continue."

Massimiliano Allegri has denied reports that several Juventus players were angered by his decision to impose a training retreat ahead of Saturday's derby against Torino.

Juventus suffered a humiliating 2-0 defeat at Maccabi Haifa on Tuesday, leaving Allegri's team on the brink of a group-stage exit from the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Juve have taken just 13 points from their first nine matches of the Serie A season, their worst return at this stage of a campaign since 2015-16 (12), and are already 10 points adrift of leaders Napoli.

Bianconeri chairman Andrea Agnelli was forced to reject reports Allegri would be fired following the loss in Israel, after which the Juventus coach revealed the team would hunker down at their Continassa training ground ahead of Saturday's Derby della Mole.

Subsequent reports suggested that decision irritated several players, but Allegri claimed that is not the case on Friday, saying: "These are unfounded rumours. The team has never asked not to retire. 

"We know the moment, we came back on Wednesday, we trained when we arrived and the next morning we were on the pitch. 

"We are focused on trying to get out of this situation which is certainly not beautiful. We know that we cannot come out with just one match, but we must start achieving results.

"I talk to the team every day. Withdrawal is just a moment to be together, it is not a punishment. 

"We had yesterday and today to do double workouts, to give a little more order because it is normal that when there are no results, we tend to see things blacker than they are."

Juventus are winless in their last six away games in Serie A (D2 L4), their longest such run since they failed to win on seven consecutive road trips in 2010, but Allegri says the Bianconeri retain a sense of togetherness.

"It is not my personal challenge, it belongs to everyone," he added. "It is not that one wins and the others lose, it is done all together. 

"The team has worked well for two days, this afternoon we will do the last refinement and then we will arrive tomorrow evening to play against Torino."

Massimiliano Allegri insists he will not walk away from Juventus despite their dismal campaign hitting a new low with Tuesday's shock Champions League loss at Maccabi Haifa.

Juventus were unable to respond to Omer Atzili's first-half double as the Israeli outfit claimed a famous 2-0 win over the Bianconeri, turning up the pressure on Allegri.

Juventus are already 10 points off the pace on the domestic front after winning just three of their nine Serie A games this season, and their latest European reverse represents a severe blow to their hopes of progression.

With Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica sharing a 1-1 draw later on Tuesday, Juventus are five points adrift of the duo with just two games remaining in Group H.

With Allegri leading the Bianconeri to three defeats in their first four Champions League group games for the first time ever, chairman Andrea Agnelli was forced to deny the coach would be fired in the immediate aftermath of the loss.

Speaking to Sky Sports shortly thereafter, Allegri was adamant he remained up for the fight, saying: "I have never thought about resigning. 

"When a challenge becomes more difficult, it becomes even more beautiful. You have to come out with courage, desire and passion."

While Agnelli looked to absolve Allegri of blame after the defeat, he said he was "ashamed" of Juventus' display, and the head coach concurred.

"Agnelli is absolutely right," Allegri said. "It was one of the worst first halves we have done. It is not right to make a performance like that.

"We had the wrong attitude from the start. This match is difficult to explain, we just need to be silent. 

"The performance was not up to par, especially from a character point of view. We just have to keep quiet, work and get out of this situation."

Juventus' next fixture sees them face Torino in the Derby della Mole on Saturday, and Allegri revealed the side will bunker down at their Continassa training ground until that crucial game.

"Tomorrow, we return and until the derby we will all stay in Continassa," he added. "This is a duty we have towards the club, the fans and above all, ourselves."

Andrea Agnelli was "ashamed" of Juventus' performance in their shock defeat to Maccabi Haifa, but Massimiliano Allegri still has the club's backing.

Juve slipped to a 2-0 defeat in Israel on Tuesday, leaving their chances of progressing from Champions League Group H hanging by a thread.

Maccabi's win ended a run of nine consecutive Champions League defeats and was just their third triumph in the competition, with the other two coming in the 2002-03 season.

Juve, meanwhile, have lost four of their last six group games in the competition, as many defeats as they had suffered in their previous 34 matches. This was the first time they have lost three of their first four group games in a single campaign.

But Allegri retains the support of Agnelli, who insisted the coach cannot be blamed for Juve's issues.

"This is a difficult night in a difficult period. It is one of the most difficult periods and the moment to take responsibility, which is why I am here," said Agnelli to Sky Sport after the match.

"In a situation like this, it's not about one person. It's a matter to be dealt with by a whole group. We feel ashamed, we apologise to our fans, because we know they must feel ashamed to walk around at the moment.

"Allegri is the coach of Juventus, and he will remain as the coach of Juventus."

Asked if Allegri was keeping his role just because of the financial implications of sacking him, Agnelli replied: "No, you are completely off track.

"It cannot be the fault of the coach if we don't win a single tackle on the field.

"Juventus have always evaluated situations at the end of the year. I always struggled to consider a dismissal during a season, and I continue to believe that."

Having taken 13 points from their opening nine Serie A matches, Juve are 10 adrift of pacesetters Napoli, while the Bianconeri have won just two of their nine games in all competitions since the start of September.

Massimiliano Allegri is "a complete coach" who has the ability to turn Juventus' season around, according to midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

Experienced coach Allegri won 11 trophies in his first five-season spell with Juve, but he is under intense pressure a year and a half on from returning to the Allianz Stadium.

Juventus finished fourth in Serie A last season and ended the campaign trophy-less for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign.

The Bianconeri have started this season slow, too, with Saturday's 2-0 loss to rivals Milan leaving them eighth in the table and already 10 points off top spot after nine matches.

But speaking ahead of Juve's Champions League tie with Maccabi Haifa on Tuesday, Rabiot gave his backing to the under-fire coach.

"Allegri is a strong coach," Rabiot, who has started seven matches in all competitions this season, said at Monday's pre-match press conference.

"He knows how to manage the team, both on the pitch and off it. Not everyone can do that. To me, he is a complete coach, on and off the pitch."

Juve appeared to have turned a corner with back-to-back wins over Bologna and Haifa, but their loss at San Siro was considered a backward step by Allegri.

They realistically require a victory in Israel if they are to remain in contention for the knockout stages as they trail PSG and Benfica by four points after three matches.

"We have a chance to return to the pitch quickly," Allegri told reporters. "The previous two wins [before Milan defeat] were misleading and we need to be realistic.

"This is a path we must take. We are facing strong teams, but we know we can't make certain errors and must avoid making the same mistakes we've made all season.

"We are aware of the importance of tomorrow's match and must fight for every ball, as well as doing the simple things.

"We will put in all our love and passion that Juventus deserves, but we must do more if we are to regain some confidence and return to our previous level."

Juventus have won all three of their Champions League matches against Haifa, who are on a nine-game losing run in the competition.

However, Juve are winless in three away Champions League matches and risk losing multiple away games in a single group stage for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

"It's going to be a tough game," Allegri said. "They showed good things here and played well against PSG. We must be careful, we can't commit the same mistakes again.

"We must improve and be more solid, which is the easiest and most obvious thing to do. Details make the difference, even just one centimetre. We need attention and passion."

Massimiliano Allegri accepts the only way Juventus can turn around their season is to approach big matches with less fear after going down 2-0 to Milan on Saturday.

Juve's recent upturn in results, in which they had picked up their first back-to-back wins of the season against Bologna and Maccabi Haifa, came to a halt at San Siro.

Fikayo Tomori's opener late in the first half was added to early in the second by Brahim Diaz, who ran half the length of the pitch before firing past Wojciech Szczesny.

Eighth-place Juve are at risk of dropping into the bottom half on Sunday depending on results elsewhere, having collected just 13 points from their opening nine matches.
 
And Allegri, who has come under fire for his tactics this season, accepts his side have taken a step backwards with their performance against his old club Milan.

"After tonight's game, there is little for me to say," he told DAZN. "We are in a moment where we seemed to be out of the negative period with these two victories.

"But we fell for it again. It's a pity, as we did well for the first 20-25 minutes, then got deeper and deeper without even being forced into it.

"We made a lot of misplaced passes and inevitably you pay for that."

 

The defeat was Allegri's first against a Stefano Pioli-coached side in the 17th encounter between the pair in the Italian top flight.

It leaves Juve winless in their opening four away league matches for just the second time in their past 40 campaigns, the other instance coming in the 1993-94 season.

Asked if his side are struggling physically this season, as vice-president Pavel Nedved suggested ahead of the game, Allegri said: "I think it's psychological, too. 

"It's not easy at the moment. We dropped a lot of points against the lower-mid table teams, then in these big clashes we needed more confidence."

Juve were not happy Tomori's goal was allowed to stand due to what they felt was a foul from Theo Hernandez on Juan Cuadrado in the build-up to the corner he scored from.

Diaz's second was also preventable, with the Milan forward collecting a stray Dusan Vlahovic pass, knocking the ball past a couple of players and charging through on goal.

Milan had earlier twice hit the post through Rafael Leao with the scoreline level, and finished the game with an expected goals (xG) return of 2.35, compared to Juve's 0.75.

That suggests a huge gulf in quality on the day, and Allegri has demanded an improvement in Tuesday's Champions League tie with Maccabi Haifa.

"It's unfortunate we conceded from our own mistakes on both goals," Allegri said. "We need to stay calm, roll our sleeves up and go to Haifa with the mental strength to win.

"It is strange because at a certain point we just stopped playing and started to back down. After Leao hit the post, we started going backwards. 

"There are also some passes that are just impossible to get wrong. It's not as if two good games can resolve all the problems. 

"It was five against three on some of our attacks; we need to score goals in those situations. We've got to be more determined in the challenges and shake off our fear.

"If we don't do that we won't have the balance to go far this season. If we shake off the fear, we can turn things around.

"When you pass the ball backwards, the other side will push forward and don’t even need to press you that hard. We need to work on that and improve."

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri urged his under-fire team to manage their nerves ahead of Saturday's trip to Serie A champions Milan.

Juve have only won three of their eight Serie A matches this season, and Allegri has faced severe criticism with the Bianconeri already seven points behind leaders Napoli.

While Allegri's team boosted their Champions League hopes by beating Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday, they go to San Siro having failed to win any of their three away league games this term.

Should they fail to beat the Rossoneri, it will be just the second time they have started a Serie A season with a four-match winless run on the road, having done so in 1993-94.

Allegri believes his team's problems are primarily psychological, saying: "The other day I was reflecting, we made a mistake with Salernitana [in a 2-2 draw last month], regardless of what happened at the end.

"We got too nervous and it doesn't have to happen any more, because the championship is long. 

"We wasted a lot of energy and we arrived at Monza not in the ideal conditions to get the three points that would have changed the standings.

"The most important thing is to give continuity, tomorrow is a great game and we have to play it. We need a high level of performance. 

"However, they have a strong team, with technical and very fast players. They have [Rafael] Leao who can shift the balance, then they play in front of their fans and San Siro pushes them when full.

"You need personality and clarity. It will be a good test.

"It is Milan-Juventus, we play against the Italian champions and it will be more difficult than usual because they come from a bad defeat [3-0 to Chelsea], and they will want to make up for it."

Allegri led Milan to the Scudetto in the 2010-11 season, but Stefano Pioli ended the Rossoneri's 11-year wait to replicate that triumph in May.

The Juventus boss heaped praise on his counterpart as he added: "He is doing better [than myself], because they have four points more than us. 

"I can only congratulate Pioli for the work he is doing, for the championship he won last year, which they haven't won since 2011. The numbers are all on his side."

Milan have avoided defeat in four of their last five Serie A meetings with Juventus (W2 L2), having lost 13 of their previous 14 league games against them (W1).

Dusan Vlahovic said he was "honoured" to play alongside Angel Di Maria after the Argentina international claimed three assists in Juventus' Champions League win over Maccabi Haifa.

Adrien Rabiot scored a brace either side of Vlahovic's cool second-half finish as Juventus triumphed 3-1 to boost their hopes of progressing from Group H on Wednesday, but Di Maria was the star of the show.

At 34 years and 233 days old, Di Maria became the oldest player to record a hat-trick of assists in the Champions League since data began in 2003-04, as well as the first player to do so for an Italian club.

Since Di Maria made his first Champions League appearance in the 2007-08 season, meanwhile, only Lionel Messi can match his tally of 35 assists in the competition.

Asked about Di Maria's influence by Sky Sports, Vlahovic said: "I don't know what to say. I am honoured to have the opportunity to play with him, to see him every day, to learn from him. I would like to make the most of my moments with him on the pitch."

Vlahovic was pleased to see Juventus end a three-match losing streak in the Champions League, but saw room for improvement in his own performance.

"I could do better and do more," he added. "I had to make better use of the assists of my team-mates, but we won. We have to improve and work with our heads down in silence.

"Attackers live on goals. I am always focused on the team, then the goals come as a consequence. 

"If I think I have to do something, I just put weight on myself and I don't do things with clarity. I have to be more calm and focused."

Meanwhile, under-pressure Bianconeri coach Massimiliano Allegri praised Di Maria's display, but was concerned by his team's lack of control in the final 15 minutes.

"Di Maria is good, the important thing is to get the ball to him, the first and second assists were of excellent craftsmanship," he said in his post-match news conference.

"The boys immediately realised that you cannot not play for a quarter of an hour. The games must be closed earlier, this does not mean to stop playing, but to play less and be more bad.

"We were too light, then the games are about psychology, and we risked 2-2. This doesn't have to happen.

"The defensive phase is a mental issue. Everything seemed easy, we gave up as a team. We didn't foul [ahead of] their goal, that's not good. Goal difference will also be important."

Looking ahead to next week's return fixture in Israel, two-goal hero Rabiot said: "We will have to be concentrated, but with this attitude, I am convinced that we will win. We must continue like this.

"I'm happy to have scored, but it's more important to win, and tonight we did it well. We played well - a little less in the second half - but we're on the right path."

Adrien Rabiot's brace helped Juventus to a much-needed 3-1 win over Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League on Wednesday, boosting their hopes of progressing from Group H.

The Bianconeri approached the match requiring a victory after successive European losses against Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica, and they hit the front through Rabiot's powerful first-half finish.

Angel Di Maria starred with a hat-trick of assists, including a sublime pass to allow Dusan Vlahovic to double Juventus' lead shortly after the break.

Juventus came under pressure after Dean David raced through to reduce the arrears, but Rabiot's late header made the points safe and eased the pressure on Massimiliano Allegri.

Vlahovic twice went close as Juventus started strongly, seeing a well-placed strike turned away by Matt Cohen before dragging a poor effort wide from Filip Kostic's cut-back.

Maccabi posed a threat on the break throughout the first half, leading to jeers from a nervous home crowd, but the Bianconeri made the breakthrough when Rabiot darted onto Di Maria's pass to blast into the roof of the net 10 minutes before the break.

Di Maria was again involved when Juventus extended their lead five minutes after half-time, picking out Vlahovic with a sublime outside-of-the-foot pass before the Serb slotted into the bottom-right corner.

Omer Atzili struck the foot of the post as Maccabi refused to go down without a fight, before Vlahovic was denied a double by the offside flag after converting from yet another Di Maria pass.

David ensured a tense finish when he rounded Wojciech Szczesny to give Maccabi hope with 15 minutes remaining, but Rabiot had the final say, securing Juventus' win by nodding Di Maria's corner home eight minutes later.

What does it mean? Juventus stay alive in Group H

Juventus approached Wednesday's match having lost three successive Champions League games. Had the Bianconeri fallen to a fourth consecutive defeat for the first time in the competition's history, their hopes of progression – and Allegri himself – may not have recovered.

But the Bianconeri – led by their outstanding midfield duo Rabiot and Di Maria – shook off any first-half nerves to move within four points of PSG and Benfica.

Di Maria equals Messi with creative masterclass

Di Maria was limited to one substitute appearance in Juventus' first two European matches of the campaign after struggling with an injury, and the Bianconeri may be left to rue his early absence if they fail to escape Group H.

Since the start of the 2007-08 campaign – when Di Maria made his first Champions League appearance, no player has bettered his tally of 35 assists in the competition.

Only his legendary compatriot Lionel Messi has teed up as many Champions League goals during that spell.

Rabiot ends long wait

Rabiot looked every inch the natural goalscorer as his brace led Juventus to a vital win, but the France international had endured a long goal drought prior to Wednesday's double.

The 27-year-old's first-half effort ended his 50-game run without a goal in all competitions, and represented his first strike since he found the net against Bologna in May 2021.

What's next?

Juventus will face a huge test of their Serie A credentials when they travel to Champions Milan on Saturday, while Maccabi Haifa go to Maccabi Bnei Raina on the same day.

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