Massimiliano Allegri says the Bianconeri still have a way to go before they can consider this season’s title race over and believes a mature approach is required to keep them edging forward during the remaining 12 games of their Serie A campaign.
Speaking after tonight’s 1-0 triumph over Sassuolo that extended the league leaders’ advantage at the top to 11 points, the Tuscan tactician began:“I certainly don’t feel the title’s in the bag, we need to remain calm and level-headed. There are still a good few games remaining.”
With the stakes higher than ever at this stage of the season, Juventus made tough work of breaking down a well-drilled Sassuolo outfit, but Allegri was nonetheless pleased with the way his men set about their task after the break and dug deep to claim all three points during a thrilling finale.
“Games in the second half of the season are a lot tougher than the first ones you play. You either break the deadlock in the first half and then the tempo drops in the second, or you come up against teams like Sassuolo who press high up. We insisted on playing in central errors when we should have spread the play more.
“We did better in the second half, upping the intensity and not allowing them a sniff. I really like winning 1-0: they’re games in which you have to dig deep and enable you to keep the tension high.”
A crucial turning point of tonight’s game was Allegri’s decision to introduce Fernando Llorente and Simone Pepe to the fold, a ploy which gave eventual matchwinner Paul Pogba greater space through the middle in which to flourish.
“I looked to get more play going down the right hand side with Pepe, where he’s very skilled at gaining you numerical superiority and putting the ball in for Llorente. This allowed Pogba to break through in the middle and stretch the defence.”