28.01.2018 00:05 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri expects higher tempo after tough Chievo win

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    The coach's post-match verdict: “We're not in top form at the moment but we need to up the tempo instead of just playing the ball sideways”

    Massimiliano Allegri admitted Juve weren't at their best in Verona as they struggled to break down Chievo, before goals by Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain eventually secured the points in the second period.

    “We had to work hard for it because Chievo's movement was really good today,” the boss acknowledged after the 2-0 success at the Stadio Bentegodi.

    “We didn't get at them enough in the first half and they were happy to sit back and wait for us. We were beaten to the ball too many times and we seemed desperate to break the deadlock, but you have to keep your heads in games like this.

    “We shifted the ball around too slowly and that made it easy for Chievo to get themselves into position. In the second half, once they'd gone down to nine men it became a lot easier, although we still weren't spreading play out much, as we should have been.

    "We're not in top form at the moment but we need to up the tempo instead of just playing the ball sideways.”

    While Chievo's two red cards certainly helped matters, it was the introduction of Federico Bernardeschi in the second half which enabled Juve to find some width and prise open the hosts.

    “I decided to go with three in attack initially because we only have four forwards available at the moment and I needed an option from the bench. Bernardeschi played a big part in the goal with his assist.

    “[Gonzalo] Higuain got himself on the score sheet and we're happy he's scored and that we got the three points. I took him off at the end because he was on a booking.”

    Finally, the boss had a few words to say about Gigi Buffon, who celebrates his 40th birthday on Sunday.

    “He's truly unique and I hope that the years to come are even better for him than the ones he's already had.

    "He was on the bench today but he'll be back between the sticks on Tuesday.”

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