28 February 2016
With sixteen wins in their last seventeen Serie A matches, Juventus have given coach Massimiliano Allegri plenty to be pleased about in recent months.
And, after returning to winning ways in tonight’s comfortable 2-0 victory over Inter on the back of Tuesday’s draining Champions League epic with Bayern Munich, Allegri was left beaming once again when reflecting on the evening’s action in his post-match analysis.
“Firstly, I want to congratulate the boys for a superb performance,” he began. “From a technical standpoint we were magnificent, particularly in the first half. Coming off the back of a draining game with Bayern Munich during the week, it was natural that we would have a few difficulties early on.
“Inter are a very tough side and they still have a great chance of finishing in the Champions League places. The hard work for us certainly does not stop here: we’ve got a host of teams giving chase behind us and a Coppa Italia final place to seal on Wednesday night. We’re still in the hunt for trophies on all three fronts and for that to continue we need a good result in Milan next week.”
The difference for the boss relative to last October’s goalless stalemate at the San Siro? More pace, more patience and more precision in the final third.
“We moved the ball much quicker tonight than we did at the San Siro in October. At times we really cut through them at others, the made us work harder by defending tightly and closing down the spaces. Ultimately, the win is all that counts. Overall, we played excellently.”
Central once again to a second-half swinging in the Bianconeri’s favour was the boss’ shrewd use of his substitutes: where the Juve faithful were lauding the immediate impact of Stefano Sturaro during the week, they were left celebrating a third goal in two appearance for late arrival Alvaro Morata from the penalty spot five days later.
“We’re making a very good habit of seeing our substitutes come off the bench and swing matches in our favour and tonight was no different.
“By the end of the season there will be guys who will have played 40 matches, while others will have only featured in ten. At the end of the day though, it’s the latter that will be the difference between us lifting the title and finishing as runners-up.”
Overall then, a pleasing evening for Allegri but nothing more: 11 obstacles still stand between his side and a fifth consecutive Scudetto title.
“All we could tonight was pick up three points and keep the pressure on Napoli. In Fiorentina and Milan, we’ve got two tough away encounters with Serie A rivals left so there’s a still a lot of football to be played before we can start celebrating.”
Typically pleased, typically pragmatic.