Marchisio wants Champions League focus

Juventus’ Claudio Marchisio said his side are aiming for nine points in the last three Serie A games to ensure they claim a Champions League place.The Bianconeri are seventh in the Italian top flight and four points from fourth-placed Lazio, who have lost their past two league encounters, including a 1-0 defeat to Juventus at Stadio Olimpico on Monday.

Juve midfielder Marchisio said nothing short of perfection in their final 270 minutes on the pitch this season was to be expected if the club wanted to participate in European football’s premier competition – starting with Monday’s clash with 12th-placed Chievo in Turin.

“As regards to our position in the league, if we manage to achieve the same number of points as the teams ahead of us (Lazio, Udinese and Roma), we will finish ahead of them thanks to the head-to-head results,” Marchisio said.

“In any case, the most important thing is that (on Monday) the team put in a good performance until the end of the match and achieved an important win (against Lazio). We worked very hard but managed to gain three important points.”

“We should work in these last three weeks for these last three matches in order to gain nine points and see what will happen to the other teams in the championship.”

Simone Pepe scored an 88th-minute winner at the Stadio Olimpico on Monday to keep alive Juventus’ hopes of Champions League football next term, and Marchisio – who missed the clash – said his replacement handled the pressure well.

“Well I’m happy for him, since he works very hard. We both play in that role and know what it means to defend and counter-attack. It isn’t simple. He has made sacrifices during the match and he was ready for the most important phase of the match,” Marchisio said.