Juventus showed up at the San Siro with a controlled performance to beat AC Milan 2-0, and manager Massimiliano Allegri attributed it to the humbling midweek loss in the Champions League. Manchester United had come from a goal down to steal the win in the last few minutes of the game leaving Allegri furious.
“We got right back on track after the defeat to Manchester United, which had shaken us. We did well to attack the game and that was the only way to set aside what happened in those final five minutes against Manchester United.
“We had a couple of risks here and Wojciech Szczesny was fortunately ready to make the saves. We are putting in some good performances, picking up some good wins.
“This was an important weekend for the league, as Inter lost in Bergamo and we remain at the same distance from Napoli, who are having an extraordinary season.”
Allegri made the decision to bench Leonardo Bonucci against his former team.
“He needed to rest anyway and it just happened to be against Milan. Even on the bench he was pelted with insults from the Curva, so it was better this way.
“The defeat to Manchester United did us good, because tonight we had to win and keep a clean sheet. We lowered the tempo a little in the second half and I think we ought to try more shots from distance, as that keeps the pressure on the opposition. If we try to walk it into the net and get a bit too intricate, that can leave you open to the counter.
“Everyone who spoke to me after the Manchester game said we played well, but that doesn’t count if you don’t win. At times we still don’t do things that seem simple, but those are the things that need doing.”
Mario Madzukic got the opening goal in his return to the side.
“When Mandzukic, Ronaldo and Dybala are in attack, naturally it’s going to be a little less ordered up there, but at the same time it also makes us less predictable for the opposition.
“We knew that we had more chances of causing Abate problems on the cross. Alex Sandro put a great cross on to the head of Mandzukic.
“Earlier this season, we tended to put the crosses in too low, but we’re starting to lift them more now and make the most of Mandzukic’s characteristics.
“Ronaldo is an atypical centre-forward, but still a centre-forward.”
With the game finely poised at 1-0, Milan received a penalty courtesy of VAR, but Wojciech Szczesny pushed Gonzalo Higuain’s powerful shot onto the post. Speaking after the game, the goalie added -
“We know each other well. I know that Higuain tends to take his penalties hard and low, so I was fortunate that it went well.
“Ronaldo told me to go early, because Pipita tends to take powerful penalties, but then I already knew that… We scored early, lowered the tempo and controlled the game, which is what we wanted to do.”
“It’s important to have a rapport with the defenders and a sense of consistency. It’s not easy to replace Buffon, but with this defence in front of me, it’s rare that we concede goals.
“In a way, that makes it tougher for a goalkeeper, as we aren’t called into action very often and need to maintain concentration. It’s easier in a way to make a save every 10 minutes, not that I’m complaining.”