The 3-1 scoreline flattered Juventus as they laboured to beat Cagliari yesterday with goals from Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado and an own goal sealing the result. The visitors though had fought gamely and were good value for their first half equalizer, and never really gave up.
After the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri was quite disappointed by the performance.
“We have to defend better, as we concede too many goals and risked letting in an equaliser at the 85th minute.
“Defending like this is tiring and we have to work harder as a unit to prevent these situations. This just isn’t good enough. Even after the first goal we didn’t add a second and drifted out of the game. We can’t always assume that we’ll score two or three goals.”
Douglas Costa had a good game, but went off injured at the break.
“He had some pain in the groin area and it was better not to risk it. Cuadrado did really well, as did Rodrigo Bentancur in midfield. We knew the Uruguayan had quality and just needed a bit of time.
“Miralem Pjanic was tired and felt something in the flexor. Blaise Matuidi was tired. We needed to be sharper today.
“The most important thing now is for everyone to improve our defensive movements, because we need everybody to contribute.”
Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t get a goal, but continued to be heavily involved with an assist on the third and smacking the post with a snapshot.
“He has always been a leader and above all an extraordinary player, as you saw from the assist he put on Cuadrado’s foot. These are different players who in the decisive moment always come up with a goal or a great pass.”
Manchester United are the next visitors, with the Champions League clash on Wednesday night, and Allegri will have some injury concerns.
“Giorgio Chiellini and Federico Bernardeschi are ready to play. We have to evaluate Mario Mandzukic’s ankle and Costa has a muscular twinge. It’ll be a big game and we have to seal our qualification for the next round.”