Champions Juventus got off the new season to a good start, beating Fiorentina 2-1 with a late winner from this summer mercato’s most expensive incoming transfer, Gonzalo Higuain.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri was out to temper expectations and keep hopes within check as he addressed the media after the game -
“A sixth Scudetto would be legend, so that is our objective. After that there is the Coppa Italia, Champions League and Super Cup. The real target is to improve on what we did in the past.
“I will make choices based on every single game. After the break for international duty, we’ll have eight games in a month and that’s when we need everyone in good shape.
“The objective is always to reach our physical, mental and tactical peak in March. This season that’s even more important.”
Allegri was vague though when asked who they were targeting to replace Paul Pogba -
On the game itself, where Juve let the visitors back in during a lax spell -
“The team played a very good first half, especially as we’re not in optimal form yet. I think we should’ve scored more than two goals, as Fiorentina only created one real chance.
“From a possible counter-attack for us, Alex Sandro lost the ball and we conceded on the corner.”
Higuain had received some criticism for being overweight when he signed on for the Bianconeri, but has lost some weight since then, and Allegri defended the forward -
“He’s in better shape, just as everyone is. We have five new players and need to become a team. I am very happy with the first half. We defended in a fairly organised manner in the second half too.
“When he gets half a chance, he scores a goal, as you saw tonight. And he’s not in shape yet, but above all needs to improve his understanding with his new teammates.
“There was some fatigue, especially as Khedira had only been training for a couple of weeks. He was decisive in the two situations by running into space.
“When we had the game in hand, we didn’t hold the ball as well as we should’ve done. We needed to keep the pressure on and force them to defend around their own penalty area, which we didn’t do.
“I was worried we’d get stretched out, as Fiorentina relish running into spaces, but we kept it tight.”