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Allegri compliments Napoli after Juventus win

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Manager’s comments after closely-fought game in Naples

SSC Napoli v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Juventus came away with a 1-0 win from Napoli to close the gap with the Serie A leaders to just one point. After the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri was happy with the result and in the manner how his defence played.

“It was a good test tonight, the lads had some favourable situations in the first half and took the lead.

“Napoli kept a lot of possession in the second half and put pressure on, but we allowed them very little in terms of chances. If anything, Pepe Reina performed a miracle on Blaise Matuidi.

“Now we are one point behind Napoli, it’s a good result, but we have to look forward now to Tuesday, as there is a place in the Champions League Round of 16 at stake.

“We have to compliment Napoli, who put in a good performance, confirmed they are still the Scudetto favourites and play really pleasant football.”

Mario Mandzukic, Benedikt Howedes and Stephan Lichtsteiner were all out so Allegri went with a 4-4-1-1 formation -

“Douglas Costa is an extraordinary player, he can do things on a technical level that few others can. Medhi Benatia is in good shape, but we need in general to be braver in playing the ball out of defence.

“I told the lads that normal effort and normal performances are not enough, we need extraordinary levels to match the extraordinary players in the squad.

“Naturally against Napoli you have to close down their left flank and the vertical passing lines, while they tend to struggle with crosses. We had to remain organised and continue to direct Napoli towards the areas where they weren’t going to cause us problems.”

Allegri appeared to have his tactics spot on for the game -

“Winning games isn’t all about possession, but rather making the most of your strengths, identifying the weaknesses of your opponents and getting the best out of those situations.

“The tactics depend on the games and the players at your disposal. We have a group of extraordinary players who have done marvelous things are now trying to go beyond legend. We know that it takes something beyond normality.”

Captain Gianluigi Buffon, who made a couple of stunning saves to repel Napoli, called for caution after the game.

“I am satisfied, but also know that we are still second with an extra game and tomorrow risk being third. That means tonight’s game has to be a starting point and we certainly shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.

“We are happy, because winning here is not easy, but it’s early days. When we take on certain games with this determination, unity and focus, we are a truly solid team that could repeat its success yet again. It’s not easy to bring these ingredients to the field every time.”