12.03.2016 00:03 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri: “Overall performance pleasing”

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    Massimiliano Allegri praises his players’ performance in Friday’s 1-0 win over Sassuolo at Juventus Stadium

    A Paulo Dybala wonder strike was ultimately what separated Juventus and Sassuolo on Friday night, but Massimiliano Allegri acknowledged that his men had fully earnt a victory that might easily have been won by a greater margin, given the plethora of opportunities they created over the 90 minutes.

    The Tuscan tactician began: “We couldn’t quite get that second goal, which meant we were hanging on slightly at the end, but I’m still very happy with our overall performance.

    “I’d also like to thank the fans for the way they helped cheer us over the line. Having a 12th man like that is a great help, but likewise the players need to leave no stone unturned out on the field and I certainly can’t accuse them of that.”

    Asked to analyse his team selection, Allegri admitted that second-half substitute Paul Pogba was due a well-deserved rest, while he singled out a couple of impressive individual performances just as worthy of praise as Dybala’s match-winning display.

    “I’d decided a while back to give Pogba a rest. He’d played a lot of late, but Asamoah put in a great second-half shift. I’ve a strong squad with good depth and everyone is in good shape.

    “Rugani performed brilliantly tonight. He needed that after the match at the San Siro. He showed superb character and did well in terms of bringing the ball out from the back. He’s still got plenty of room for  improvement but displays like tonight’s will have done a lot to boost his self-belief.”

    Finally, commenting on Gigi Buffon, who is on the brink of surpassing the all-time Serie A record for minutes without conceding, he purred: “I’m delighted for Gigi. For the extraordinary career he’s had, it would be fitting for him to break this record next week in the derby.”

    With attentions now shifting to next Wednesday’s trip to Bayern Munich, Allegri stressed that there was no room for letting up if they were to overcome their test in Bavaria, while not losing sight of the importance of next weekend’s mouthwatering derby against Torino at the Stadio Olimpico.

    “Bayern’s strength is the way in which they control the ball. We need to stand firm in these moments and defend doggedly, while obviously hurting them when we’ve opportunities to exploit their weaknesses.

    “Following that tie, we’ll also need to prepare extremely well for the derby, which will be a crucial game in the context of the title race. Napoli and Roma won’t drop many points from here on in and so we need to stay on top of our game.”

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