16.09.2015 00:51 - in: Champions League S

    Allegri: "Deserved win and a big morale boost"

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    Massimiliano Allegri dished out praise aplenty after tonight's win over Manchester City. For his captain Gigi Buffon, through to Juan Cuadrado and the two goalscorers on the night, Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata.

    Manchester City had recorded five wins from five this season and gone 635 minutes without conceding. A lethal attack and an unbeaten defence. And then... along came last season's Champions League finalists Juventus to rip up the form book and leave the North-West of England with three big points in the bag.

    "The lads deserve massive credit for this because it was no mean feat," the Bianconeri boss told Premium Sport after the final whistle.

    Allegri explained that after a difficult start to the domestic campaign, the team had "started doing the simple things again, keeping our play tidy and packing in tight in midfield.

    "We gave away very little tonight. The only saves Buffon had to make came when we lost the ball in midfield in the first half - when we really should have done better in the final third ourselves."

    Indeed the Old Lady failed to record a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, something that hadn't happened in the Champions League since last October's meeting with Atletico Madrid. In the first half Juve managed to play just one ball in the opposition area, versus City's seven.

    And yet after the break it was another matter altogether.

    "Our attacking movement was good in the second half. We didn't let ourselves get into a panic"

    Massimiliano Allegri

    "We deserved to win it but football is a funny old game. First Gigi was superlative and then we went and scored. We just kept believing.

    "We've been creating loads in Serie A but haven't been able to convert our chances into wins. It will take a little time – I've only been working with this group for a week. But looking at how we played against Chievo and what we did tonight, I'd say our prospects are good.

    "Compared to the Champions League, there's less space in Serie A and you need to be more careful."

    Quite. Europe is a different ball game. The coach admitted: "You're always motivated for the Champions League and this win tonight is a massive morale boost. It will help us do better both in the Champions League and in Serie A. It's psychological.

    "What I said in the dressing room before kick-off was that at times like these we just have to concentrate on nailing our performance, and if we can do that then we'll be able to invert the trend.

    "The lads proved more than up to the task. They slowed Man City down and didn't let them in at all when our defence was lined up; their only shots came when we lost possession and they hit us on the counter."

    Football is a simple game. As the boss put it: "To win games you need to be good in attack and tidy at the back." That's exactly what Juve were tonight. At the home of the Premier League leaders.

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