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Allegri: Juventus still have to improve a great deal

Manager’s comments after poorly-officiated game away in Verona

AC Chievo Verona v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images

Juventus won an ugly game away at Chievo Verona, with two unfortunate red cards handed out by the referee making the visitors’ task easier. The Bianconeri looked dull in their first game back from the winter break last weekend, and still looked rusty today as well.

After the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri commented on the challenge posed by the hosts.

“It was difficult because Chievo were defending well. In the first half, we tried to move them from one side to the other to create spaces.

“Obviously, it was simpler after they went down to nine men, even if we lost a little balance towards the end and didn’t realise there was still half an hour to go. We kept a clean sheet, got the three points away from home and are happy with that.

“We were struggling to find some width in the first half and also should’ve upped the tempo, but we had this slow passing that allowed Chievo to get back into position.

“This game is proof that you have to earn the result on the field, no matter who you are against or how many players, because there was that one incident where we were positioned badly, unbalanced and Wojciech Szczesny did well to rush off his line.

“We have to improve a great deal when it comes to the tempo, learning when to slow it down or speed it up, as otherwise we become too predictable.”

Juan Cuadrado might require surgery for his groin ailment, was it too soon to have left Marko Pjaca go on loan to Schalke 04 where he’s already scored a goal in two games?

“With hindsight, it’s too easy, as we let Pjaca go to get regular playing time. We’ll see the Cuadrado situation and how it develops, but hope to have Paulo Dybala back within 20 days. We’ll see how the latest test results show the scarring process.”

Gigi Buffon marks a milestone 40th birthday tomorrow, and finally returned to the squad today after a month out with a calf injury.

“Gigi is an extraordinary champion, we’re very happy that he was back on the bench today and he will start in Bergamo on Tuesday.”

Speaking of whom, Juve face Atalanta midweek in the Coppa, with the Bergamo side sweeping Sassuolo aside today.

“Atalanta are in a great period of form and we need to put in a strong performance, above all scoring an away goal, seeing as it’s a Coppa Italia semi-final.”