Massimiliano Allegri heaped praise on his team’s character after masterminding this season’s fifth Serie A success with a 3-0 triumph over Atalanta in Bergamo tonight.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the visitors, though, who had to dig deep and weather early Nerazzurri pressure before gaining a foothold in the game through the first of Carlos Tevez’s two strikes.
Speaking to reporters at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, Allegri began: “It was a good win. There’s a great team spirit here and our character is one of our strengths. Roma’s victory meant we couldn’t put a foot wrong and it wasn’t easy because Atalanta, particularly at home, create a lot of danger.
“They started well and we had a bit of difficulty in picking them up in midfield but then we adjusted things and managed to take the lead.” A potential turning point of the encounter came just shy of the hour mark when Gigi Buffon preserved the Bianconeri’s rock solid defensive record by stopping German Denis’ penalty.
Talking up the importance of his captain’s intervention, the manager said: “Buffon’s penalty save was crucial. That’s the difference between Gigi and other goalkeepers. He’ll perhaps have to deal with just one shot a game but manages to be decisive. That’s the difference between world class players and normal ones.”
With a two-goal lead established just seconds after Buffon’s stop, Allegri took the opportunity to replace Vidal and Llorente with Pereyra and Morata, who headed the Argentine’s precise cross home for his first goal in the black and white stripes of Juventus.
Commenting on his changes, Allegri concluded: “Vidal still needs to work and get more minutes under his belt because he hasn’t been able to train much in the last few months due to his operation and knee problems. Pereyra and Morata did very well when they came on.”