Massimiliano Allegri hailed what he described as an “important point from a tough game” after Juventus drew 1-1 with Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday night.
“Part of winning league titles is getting big points from these matches,” said the Bianconeri coach, speaking after the final whistle. “We started well, but after we took the lead we stopped playing a bit. Napoli produced a good performance and we have to hand it to our opponents.
“At times our decision making wasn’t good enough in possession, but I was expecting the kind of difficulties we faced. This is an important result. It wasn’t an easy night for us, but the lads were relaxed throughout and defended in a very organised way.”
How big a point is this in your search for a sixth straight Scudetto? How will this affect your preparation for the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg here in Naples on Wednesday?
“We have a six-point lead and eight games left to play – four home and four away. Obviously we need to focus on winning them, but right now let’s concentrate on another game against Napoli and getting through to the Coppa Italia final in Rome.”
What shape is the squad in following the international break?
“[Juan] Cuadrado got back on Thursday night and [Paulo] Dybala has only had two sessions after 12 days without training. I couldn’t risk it for one game, however important it was. Even if it had gone badly tonight, it wouldn’t really have changed our Scudetto chances, while Wednesday’s game is a massive one. Some of the players need to get back to peak fitness and it’s down to me to manage them so that they perform to their best.”
It was quite the occasion for Gonzalo Higuain tonight.
“Higuain played well, especially in the first half and at the beginning of the second. He has to be grateful to Napoli, just as Napoli have to be grateful to him. People can go their separate ways, but I think that’s part of life.”
Are you already looking ahead to the Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona?
“There’s still a long way to go until that one. It won’t be difficult for me to motivate the team for it. When you get to the quarter-finals, it’s to be expected that they fear us and we fear them – both teams have great respect for each other. We’ll do everything we can to go through.”