Juventus overwhelmingly dominated visitors Crotone with 81% possession and 25 chances created, but required three second-half goals to put away their opponents. After the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri commented on the difficulties his side faced.
“It’s not an issue of shaking off the 4-2-3-1. We had a more attacking set of players than against Barcelona. We’ve got some coming back from injury and soon will have everyone reaching full fitness.
“We kept Douglas Costa wide with Alex Sandro also too wide, so we were unbalanced. I adjusted things to bring Douglas Costa back, so we found Mandzukic and Dybala between the lines.
“In order to go all the way, we need everyone. Claudio Marchisio was missed and now it’s important to have him back.
“Last season we had some players who performed a certain way and aren’t playing on the same level now. My job is to get the best out of the players I have at my disposal. There are some who aren’t in their best physical and psychological shape, so it’s only right those in the best condition should play.”
The manager refused to comment on Juve finding themselves in third spot in the Scudetto race.
“It’s not as if we are 27 points off the lead, it’s just four points behind two teams who are unbeaten. We dropped points with Atalanta, where we just stopped playing after going 2-0 up. We had a black-out and lost focus for eight minutes against Lazio.
“It’s an important win because seven in a row is not easy, while everyone hopes to beat Juventus and our objective is to stay in touch with the top teams come March. Napoli and Inter are still unbeaten, we’ve got Serie A, the Coppa Italia and Champions League, so we’ve got to keep everything in play.”
There’s a huge game coming up for the Bianconeri with a trip to Napoli on Friday evening.
“I hope Friday will be a wonderful evening of sport. We’ve done some very good things this season, while their results have been extraordinary. It doesn’t count now if you are a point ahead or behind, it’s when we get to the sprint finish,” continued Allegri.
“Playing at the San Paolo is always difficult and the games never seem to end. Napoli have been doing great things for three years, they just encountered a Juventus side that was even stronger. We must play with good technique and intelligence, I expect it to be a balanced game decided by details.”