Juventus beat AC Milan 2-0 at the San Siro to draw level with the Serie A pack leaders Napoli, with Gonzalo Higuain scoring a brace of well-taken goals highlighting his precision. After the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri was delighted to win at his former employer once again.
“We must compliment the lads, as playing at San Siro is never easy and Milan are historic rivals. In these fixtures, form is wiped out.
“It was a good performance both attacking and defending, we won a head-to-head clash and now prepare for Tuesday, aiming to secure qualification in the Champions League against Sporting.”
On his game plan for neutralizing Milan’s key playmaker Suso.
“Mario Mandzukic and Kwadwo Asamoah did well to track back and block Suso. He is a crucial player who is decisive for Milan with assists and goals, so we did well to neutralise him.”
Higuain’s brace showed he has played his way out of an early season slump.
“This mustn’t be an ending point for Higuain. He is in great shape at the moment and needs to improve it more than maintain it, but as always that’s an issue of mentality. He is really helping the team to play better.
“Gonzalo must believe in himself much more, because he has extraordinary potential. Every now and then he rests on his laurels, which is not good for him or for us. He must demand more from himself.”
Regarding the game itself -
“We struggled in the first 10 minutes, as we kept passing it short and not seeking the forwards, as Milan were pressing us. Paulo Dybala was meant to be marking Ricardo Rodriguez, he wasn’t, and so Juan Cuadrado was a bit hesitant and that’s where the chance came from that hit the bar thanks to an extraordinary Gigi Buffon.
“When my players make too many short passes and don’t move it forward, I get angry. We are doing well this season, losing one and drawing one with two last-gasp penalties, so the difference right now is made by those spot-kicks.”
Juve are now tied on top of the table with Napoli, who play later this weekend.
“Napoli are in extraordinary form right now, we have to make sure we’re up there battling with them and Inter in April.”
Allegri was also asked why he chose not to start any of Juve’s summer signings -
“When changing to 4-3-3 rather than 4-2-3-1, it requires a different balance and we are working on it. Don’t forget this side won the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and reached the Champions League Final, so there’s no point fiddling with it unnecessarily. We bought the new players to give me more options to choose from.”