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Allegri wants defensive improvements from Juventus

Manager’s post-match comments after win over Chievo

Juventus v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A
Massimiliano Allegri
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Juventus might have cantered to a 3-0 win over Chievo Verona at the Allianz Stadium, but manager Massimiliano Allegri was unimpressed by the lapses made by the defence, calling for an immediate improvement.

Speaking to the media after the game, Allegri said -

“We played with three midfielders for the first time today and only really had a day to get ready, as the internationals all arrived on Thursday. We allowed a few too many shots on target, that is something we need to work and improve on, but it was good to keep a clean sheet.

“Once Chievo started to lose intensity, our quality took over. It’s only natural that when the opposition doesn’t run as hard, it opens up more spaces.

“The change of system left Miralem Pjanic alone in front of the defence. He did well in some occasions to read the pass and intercept. In order to defend, you need everyone to work hard and make sure we don’t allow so many chances.

“Last season we conceded few goals and allowed very few opportunities too. It depends on how hard they work when the opposition has the ball. If you don’t concede, then it’s frankly rare that Juventus don’t score goals. You need to do well defensively and in attack to win trophies, so we got it wrong defensively in the Champions League Final with Real Madrid and that is why we lost.

“At times it makes me smile when people say we do or don’t play good football. What does that even mean? Some games you win playing well, others you win playing less well.”

Paulo Dybala sparked Juve into life when he came on -

“Dybala is improving a great deal and has everything it takes to become, along with Neymar after Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, one of the best players in the world.

“His future is with Juventus and I am very happy with that. Over the last three years we’ve done well and we have an important campaign ahead of us too.

“There are several sides who can challenge for the Scudetto, I think Torino and Lazio could also cause problems for the big clubs, and it will certainly be more difficult.”

There were starts for goalie Wojciech Szczesny, midfielder Blaise Matuidi and winger Douglas Costa, while Federico Bernardeschi came on for his Serie A debut as a substitute.

“Douglas Costa has to get to know his teammates and settle in. I always say it’s tough to play in Serie A, as the small to medium clubs are very organised and close the spaces with intelligent tactics.

“I think Douglas Costa would’ve done great things in the final half-hour when the spaces opened up, so he has to make an impact during the opening hour when there are very few spaces.

“Bernardeschi is young and made a big step forward from Fiorentina. He has to learn that when you are at Juventus, every ball you play is important.”