Juventus brushed aside Genoa 4-0 to maintain their outstanding record at the Juventus Stadium. After the thrills of the magnificent defensive effort at Nou Camp, the win today seemed almost pedestrian.
After the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the media, commending the Genoese team’s efforts.
“It wasn’t easy, as Genoa had done really well against Lazio to draw 2-2 and had more motivation with the return of their Coach. It was a tough test, but we had the right mentality and approach.
“Genoa were man-marking us tonight and football is really tough if you don’t move around. You need to shake markers off, create space and move the ball around too.”
Before the game Allegri had said that this match would prove pivotal for the Scudetto, how did he feel after the win?
“We don’t have the Scudetto yet, but we need eight points to be mathematically certain. Now we have a few days to prepare for another very difficult trip to Atalanta.
“We made a lot of changes today, but the important thing is that the result does not change.”
Claudio Marchisio played almost the full game in the defensive midfielder role, and is expected to start against Monaco in that position with Sami Khedira suspended.
“He had a good performance tonight and looked good both physically and technically. After a cruciate ligament injury, it takes a long time, so I knew the timing would be crucial and hopefully he can end the season in crescendo.
“We have five days before Bergamo, then another four days until Monaco. I have many options and that means I can keep everyone fresh, which is important, but we also have to keep the enthusiasm to a decent level and not let it become euphoria.
“We haven’t won anything yet, games become a bit strange towards the end of a season and we absolutely must not lower our concentration levels.”
There was the customary question about his Juventus future, especially if they managed to win the treble.
“It doesn’t depend on winning something or nothing. The most important thing is to have strong motivation and objectives. I am happy at Juventus, the club seems happy with me, but the priority is not the contract right now. We have to focus on winning.”
Was his reinvention of Mario Mandzukic this season in the 4-2-3-1 formation his tactical masterpiece?
“I didn’t do any masterpiece. I just thought at a certain stage of the season it was right to bring in a breath of fresh air. We were dragging ourselves along, really, and had been for a while.
“Mandzukic is so athletically gifted, I don’t know how many kilometres he notched up tonight, but his tactical intelligence is under-estimated and he is really an added bonus in that wide role.
“I want to single out Gonzalo Higuain tonight, as he played a technically perfect game and made a big contribution to the team.”