28.10.2017 21:32 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri pleased with Juve's 'show of strength'

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    The boss delivers his post-match verdict: “We needed that to beat a historic rival like AC Milan and it sets us up nicely for the Champions League on Tuesday”

    This time there was no admonishment. Unlike against SPAL, when he was annoyed with Juve's defensive display, Massimiliano Allegri declared himself satisfied with his team's performance after their 2-0 win over AC Milan.

    “I'm very happy with the lads today because we needed to produce a real show of strength to beat a historic rival like AC Milan,” the coach began.

    “The lads did their jobs at both ends of the pitch and we've come away from a head-to-head match with a fine victory that sets us up nicely for our Champions League game on Tuesday.”

    Allegri still feels Juve have room for improvement, though, particularly in their possession play.

    “We didn't control the game in the first half because AC Milan were pressing us and we kept passing it around at close quarters instead of looking to get the ball forward.

    “We sorted ourselves out in the second half and managed possession better. I was very angry with [Miralem] Pjanic because a player of his ability shouldn't be playing it short.

    “We need to do better on the ball so that we come under less pressure."

    Asked about integrating the club's summer signings into the side, Allegri explained: “Let's not forget that this team did the league and cup double and reached the Champions League final last season – it's not easy to bring new players into such a set-up.

    “Winning a seventh Scudetto would be more than legendary and it would help us to do well in the Champions League too. Now we have to make sure we qualify for the next round, then we can focus on Serie A.”

    The boss spared a special mention for two-goal hero Gonzalo Higuain before challenging the striker to crank his game up yet another notch.

    “He mustn't rest on his laurels now. He's in good physical shape and has improved loads. From a technical point of view he's exceptionally gifted: he opens up the play and he's scoring again now but it's not enough for him to stay at this level – he must do even better.

    “He showed fabulous technique to take his two goals today but he has to be a lot more demanding of himself because I think he sits back occasionally. That's what I expect of him after tonight.”

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