23.01.2018 00:09 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri: “Winning is what mattered”

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    “The lads all worked hard to see out the result. It was important to kick off with three points after the break.” The boss shares his thoughts after Juve-Genoa

    Massimiliano Allegri admitted that Juventus had to grind out the win against Genoa in their first match back after the winter break.

    Douglas Costa's first-half effort proved enough to secure the points but the Bianconeri found themselves struggling a little towards the end following a week of heavy training sessions.

    “We worked very hard during the week after the break and there was always the risk we'd drop off a little given the loads we're carrying. We were a bit tired towards the end and we hadn't been able to sew up the game so it got a bit nervy as we tried to see out the result.

    “Our aim was to get the three points, though – the lads knew that and they all worked hard to that end.”

    The coach went on to comment on some of his players' individual performances.

    “[Mario] Mandzukic was excellent today, but they all were.

    “[Gonzalo] Higuain put in one of his best performances of the season from technical perspective. He's in much better shape now and he could have scored. He was just unlucky that [Armando] Izzo nicked the ball away from him the way he did.

    “[Medhi] Benatia and [Giorgio] Chiellini are doing well, as are [Andrea] Barzagli and [Daniele] Rugani when they play. You get spells when two defenders play more but the main thing is the whole team works together and defends as a unit – and that's what they're doing.”

    The three points keep Juve firmly in the hunt for the same objective as always: winning the Scudetto.

    “We've laid down the gauntlet to ourselves this year because winning a seventh consecutive title would be more than legendary.

    “The lads are doing well and it was important to win today to stay on Napoli's heels, keep the teams behind us at a distance and start again after the break with a home win.

    “Napoli are ahead of us at the moment but we just need to hang in there and wait for the right moment.”

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