Massimiliano Allegri says the players’ decision to sit on their one-goal advantage and not go all out for a third proved costly this evening in Cesena.
The 2-2 draw means the Bianconeri missed an important opportunity to put further daylight between themselves and nearest chasers Roma, who were held to a draw by Parma earlier this afternoon.
Allegri acknowledged Juventus were somewhat off colour tonight and lamented the fact his men were unable to go on and claim all three points after fighting back from an early Cesena goal.
Speaking to the media in Emilia-Romagna, the 47-year-old began: “We weren’t at the races today. Cesena are a side in good shape who set about their opponents and the artificial pitch moves the ball around quickly, so if you’re not responsive the task becomes much tougher.
“We didn’t close down, we didn’t win our tackles and made a lot of errors from a technical point of view in the first half.
“When we conceded we started to grab the game by the scuff of the neck, but we sat on our lead instead of looking for a third goal. It was a poor match, we had turned it on its head, but weren’t able to clinch the result. It’s a shame, because winning here would have represented an important step towards the Scudetto.”
An opportunity to get out of jail fell the Bianconeri’s way when Stefano Lucchini handled in the area with 10 minutes remaining, only for Arturo Vidal to direct his spot-kick wide of the goal.
Allegri was quick to show his support for the Chilean, naming him as one of the few positives from an otherwise indifferent opening 45 minutes. “He was one of our better performers in the first half, playing well and showing plenty of running. He’s in good shape and unfortunately penalty takers can sometimes miss spot kicks.”