18.12.2014 21:41 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri: "Perfect way to warm up for the Super Cup"

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    The boss commented on his side's 3-1 defeat of Cagliari: "Important to come through this unscathed so that we could end the year top and build up a head of steam going into the Super Cup"

    Tonight's win over Cagliari ensures Juve go into 2015 sitting proudly on top of the Serie A pile and Massimiliano Allegri can rightly be satisfied with the way his charges have performed in this opening stage of the campaign.

    But as he spoke to the media after watching his men seal a 3-1 victory at the Saint'Elia, the manager preferred to focus his analysis on how Juve fared tonight against Zdenek Zeman's side: superb in spells, less convincing in others.

    Allegri began: "A game is never over until it's over and Cagliari are one of those teams who keep playing until the final whistle. The game is still open at 3-1 because if you concede one at the end there's always the risk you can let in another during stoppage time.

    "We were excellent for the first six or seven minutes of the match but then we eased off a bit. We managed to get going again following the break and we played some lovely stuff after we got the third goal.

    "It was important for us to come through this unscathed because we wanted to end the year top and build up a head of steam going into the Super Cup."

    Allegri then commented on his opposite number's decision to pack his side with defensive players.

    "Given the tricky period they're going through and the fact they were playing Juventus, Zeman wanted to afford us as little space as possible and play on the break.

    "We came surging out of the blocks in the first half, but then they started to gain territory and we found ourselves playing it back to Buffon more than we'd have liked."

    The other plus point on the night was that no one was booked, meaning that no Juve players are suspended for Monday's Super Cup clash in Doha.

    The coach explained: "If we didn't pick up any bookings it's because we performed very well defensively.

    "Having a game stuck in the middle of the league campaign can put you at a disadvantage. Not only for the Super Cup itself but afterwards as well, because a yellow card in Doha could mean someone having to miss the next league match. UEFA have changed their rules to make sure that all the best players are able to play in the Champions League final...

    "In any case, we'll go out there focused solely on winning the Super Cup. There'll be time to think about Inter later."

    The Bianconeri may have racked up 95 points in 2014 and spent the entire 12 months looking down on the rest of Serie A from the summit, but there's clearly more to come from this team.

    Allegri confirmed: "I'm very lucky to have a group of players with an insatiable appetite for success. They want to go on taking the plaudits by winning a fourth straight Scudetto and do well in the Champions League too. I have a great deal of confidence in this team."

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