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Allegri: Juve were great, only lacked a goal

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Manager’s analysis after gripping Derby D’Italia ends in a stalemate

Juventus v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Juventus were held to a scoreless draw at home by League leaders Inter Milan, who will consider themselves lucky to be leaving Turin with a point. Massimiliano Allegri’s side turned up the heat in the second half of a game they thoroughly dominated.

“We have to compliment the lads for a tough performance, not allowing Inter a single shot on goal other than Marcelo Brozovic right at the end.

“Inter are top of the table, have a lot of technical quality and worked really hard. We had a great second half and were only lacking a goal.”

After naming a somewhat surprising starting lineup minus Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa and Alex Sandro, Allegri explained his thought process -

“In football, other than technical qualities, you need to be in good shape physically. I always say that running isn’t indispensable in football, but it certainly helps.

“Dybala could create some important dangers between the lines in the final stages. Like many others, he needs to improve his fitness levels and we’ll work on that this week.”

Croatian Mario Mandzukic seemed to be everywhere, and had a hatful of chances throughout the game -

“We had prepared to use Mario Mandzukic wide. The lads did well, as Inter used up a lot of energy in the first half pushing up to come get us and they fell away towards the end. We aren’t in perfect physical shape yet, so it was important to balance out the energy levels.

“Inter pressed hard in the opening 20 minutes, so in those circumstances we had to make do, even if we had the best chances in that period with Mandzukic. Antonio Candreva and Ivan Perisic crossed more than anyone else in Serie A this season, but tonight Juan Cuadrado, Mattia De Sciglio, Mandzukic and Blaise Matuidi worked well to double up and not allow any crosses.”

On his disappointment with the final result -

“It’s a shame we didn’t win, but considering we can improve so much in future, I am happy with the performance. Inter are competitive to fight for the title to the end, so are Juventus. I hoped the team would put in a good performance tonight, but it was better than I expected, as the players are not in great shape right now.

“We moved well in their half and it was tough, as we played for the Champions League qualification midweek and used up a lot of energy there.”

The Champions League draw is on Monday, and he was asked who the thought the Bianconeri would get -

“I know we have a 66 per cent chance of drawing an English side. We’ll probably get one of them. Paris Saint-Germain have pace and technique, so I’d rather avoid them, but the fact remains we have to play whoever we get.”