18.02.2017 00:05 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri’s take on Palermo triumph

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    The coach reacts post-match: “It was a game we needed to win - these victories are a big part of the title race”

    Massimiliano Allegri stressed the importance of another victory in the title race after Juve beat Palermo 4-1 on Friday night, rejecting suggestions the three points over Palermo were a formality.

    "The lads played well. It was a dangerous fixture and these matches can prove crucial in the title race.

    "Our focus dropped a touch at times during the first half after we took the lead. That, along with the goal we conceded, is something we have to avoid.

    "Either way we had barely any hairy moments but, as I’ve said, this was anything but a gimme win. We played nice football in patches, although our ball possession was a little laboured in the first period.”

    It's another victory down in the race towards the main target in the league, before it’s back into European action.

    “Yes, another win down but now we’ll think about next week. Porto are on good form. They’re good on the counter-attack and they’re a side that are used to playing matches at this level.

    "It will be a good last-16 tie. It’s one of those matches that would not only allow us to continue our run in the Champions League but a good result would also do wonders for our self-belief. The further you go in the competition, the more you improve.”

    Back to the Palermo game: “I’m pleased for Marchisio. I needed him to recover both physically and mentally. Scoring past the team he got injured against last year was important.

    "[Marko] Pjaca played well. He’s young and has to keep improving because he’s come in from a league with lower intensity where his ability alone was enough.

    "[Mario] Lemina played well on his return and [Tomas] Rincon deserves praise.

    "[Miralem] Pjanic didn’t play because he had an ankle problem during the week but his skills are so important. He brings quality to our play and is an effective shield in front of the defence.”

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