“The boys deserved to win tonight in what was a game typical of this league: tight at first, with moments of difficulty for both sides but ultimately decided by a touch of class. It wasn’t a straightforward match for us tonight.”
If Sunday’s encounter with Roma at Juventus Stadium was a microcosm of this gripping Serie A season, as described by Bianconeri boss Massimiliano Allegri, then perhaps an 11th consecutive league win for his charges will ensure that the campaign ends in a similarly typical fashion, with the Old Lady lifting another Scudetto title.
Paulo Dybala’s second-half strike, his 12th of the competition, was the aforementioned exceptional difference for Juve in a tightly contested affair with their Champions League rivals and had coach Allegri looking ahead to what promises to be a magical second half of the year.
“We want to end the season this way on 8 May for the league, 21 May for the Coppa Italia and 28 May in the Champions League,” he added. “We have a packed schedule ahead but we must stay level-headed. As I’ve always said, keeping your cool and focus is everything in football and the boys have maintained theirs brilliantly in the last few months.”
Speaking of balance and strength of mind, what did the boss have to say of Dybala’s thrilling and wonderfully composed winner? A perfectionist by nature, Allegri’s reply was naturally nuanced and grounded.
“Dybala produced another great performance after a quiet first 20 minutes for him. When the game looked tight and deadlocked, he still pulled out a wonderful goal.
“He could always improve with his right foot, occupying defences more with his movement and upping the tempo of our play when we need it.”
The Tuscan’s post-match thoughts would however fittingly end on a word for the Bianconeri as a collective unit and as a team that has a menacingly bright future ahead of it.
He concluded, “Juventus, besides the likes of Dybala and (Paul) Pogba who are undoubtedly coveted across the whole continent, have a whole squad of excellent players. We are building a great future for the club and our summer arrivals will be a big part of that.
“(Alvaro) Morata is returning to his old self after a strong showing in Rome on Wednesday, (Simone) Zaza likewise. It’s a long season when you compete in as many competitions as we do and the most important thing is to ensure that we end it with one or two pieces of silverware to show for it.”