Juventus’s Szczesny leaves pitch in tears after struggling to breathe
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was left “scared” after leaving the first leg of his side’s Europa League quarter-final against Sporting CP with chest pain.
The Poland international left the field in tears before the conclusion of the first half, with Mattia Perin introduced in his place and playing the remainder of the 1-0 victory at Allianz Stadium.
Szczesny was checked by the medical team and given the all-clear shortly after the resumption of the second half, though he admitted he was concerned by the sequence of events.
“I am fine, I was a little anxious, but we did all the tests and everything is fine,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“I was scared, it had never happened to me before, I was struggling to breathe and it really worried me.”
Perin’s heroics in added time with a double save to deny Pote and Hector Bellerin secured victory for Juventus, with Szczesny returning to form by joking about the situation and praising his team-mate.
“The truth is, I saw Mattia in great shape in training, I felt tired and knew he would have a great double save at the 94th [minute],” he added.
“Nah, they fired it straight at him! I congratulated him, he is also a guy with a heart of gold, we get along well. It’s a shame Carlo [Pinsoglio] didn’t come on, he would’ve had a hat-trick of great saves today.”
Speaking shortly after, Perin hailed the team’s display and made it clear there was still plenty of work to be done.
“I think the team as a whole has been exceptional not to fall into a victim mentality or false alibis, instead we used that negative energy and made it positive, proving we are real men,” he said.
“It is only half-time in the quarter-final, there are another 90 minutes to go and we can be happy with this victory, but it’s only half-done.”
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