Juventus ground out a narrow 1-0 win at Lazio today in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia. Swiss Express Stefan Lichtsteiner got the only goal of the game to put the Bianconeri through to the semis where they will take on Inter Milan. The other match of the final four will feature Lega Pro club Alessandria and AC Milan. The fist leg of the round will be played on January 27th at Juventus Stadium, with the return fixture on March 2nd at the San Siro.
After the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri commended opponents Lazio -
"I have to compliment Lazio, as the first half was very balanced and they kept a high tempo.
"Juventus lifted the tempo after the break, played a solid game and allowed not a single genuine shot on target, then we had several chances to finish it off.
"I compliment the lads, as this was in no way an easy match. I don't like the term ‘squad rotation,' as I have a very competitive team and it is always difficult to leave players out.
"Simone Zaza did well, Alvaro Morata improved in the second half and Martin Caceres worked very hard, which is important because we need him. To go forward in three competitions we need the entire squad to be in good physical and psychological shape.
"We must keep our feet on the ground and be aware we've achieved nothing yet."
When asked about the upcoming semi-final against Inter Milan -
"It will be a wonderful semi-final, you have to face the biggest clubs to reach the end, but right now we are focused on this weekend's meeting with Roma."
On whether the Scudetto is a battle of three teams -
"Absolutely not. There are 18 games left, the top five are all still in it. We are currently in good form but we must maintain it."
Would beating Roma put them out of the title race for good -
"It'll be a good game. It's going to be difficult but we'll play to win."
Allegri was also questioned by the media regarding the touchline incident between Inter manager Roberto Mancini and Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri yesterday -
"I daren't judge what others do, especially as I say you need to find yourself in certain situations. I will say we managers ought to set an example with our behaviour, as we are the leaders of this team and even under moments of pressure and tension we should try to maintain our calm. It's not easy, but we should calm the situation and not stir up further tension."
What would he say to Sarri -
"I'm not involved, it's not right to make judgements on my colleagues. We're talking about football, there was a good game today. The prosecutor will decide."