“We must work on not switching off as we’re being made to pay dearly,” said Massimiliano Allegri shortly after the Lazio defeat. “We still haven’t grasped the fact that we have to battle and struggle on a daily basis if we’re to win the league. That means focus for 95 minutes. We’ve dropped five points in games against Lazio and Atalanta but the big talking points have proved crucial. Two penalties, [Gonzalo] Higuain hit the bar and [Paulo] Dybala the post. Plus a number of our international players only came back in on Thursday, some were a bit tired, while others had knocks yet we can’t use that as an excuse.”
Lazio proved very dangerous on the break. “They’re a good, well-organised team who operate very well at pace,” continued Allegri. "We’re disappointed to have conceded two goals too easily. We weren’t strong enough on either goal.
“Higuain played well – he was effective at times and unlucky at others. Dybala will keep taking penalties. He needs to relax and stay calm because you can’t always win in football. Times like these help players to tap into that competitive edge which allows you to win games.”
Despite opening his account for the Bianconeri tonight, the coach still sees room for improvement in Douglas Costa’s game. “He did some things well but clearly he needs more time to get to know his team-mates. He needs to be a match winner and he can do a lot more.”
Now the focus switches to the Champions League. “Results like these do us good because they bring us back down to earth. We’ll focus on Wednesday to turn this negative result into a positive. It’s a very important match which could be crucial in getting out of the group and we have to win it. Sporting play football and defend well so we’ll need to be very patient.”