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Allegri: Football can be both cruel and wonderful

Manager’s comments after last-second win away at Lazio

SS Lazio v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images

An understrength Juventus left it very late away at third-placed Lazio but on his return ‘La Joya’ Paulo Dybala produced a spellbinding moment of magic to get the Bianconeri three crucial points away at the capital.

The drama didn’t end there either, with Napoli then getting thumped at home by an inspired AS Roma 2-4 to lead Juve by only one point in the Scudetto with Juve having a game in hand.

After the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri was philosophical about Dybala’s winner, recalling the Super Cup loss to Lazio when Juve equalized late but conceded a winner in time added on.

“It came to me spontaneously because it shows you how cruel and how wonderful football can be. We lost the Super Cup in the last minute after fighting back to 2-2 and today we won it with a last-gasp goal.

“The lads were brilliant. We played the way we had to and kept ourselves in it right till the end.”

Juve controlled possession but in a game where chances were hard to come by, it came down to taking the one chance they got on goal.

“It was a difficult game, because Lazio are in third place, they held out well physically and we had very limited options in attack. We played the game that we had to play and had to come away with the victory. I told the lads that a single incident would decide this match and I was right.

“It wasn’t the best performance on a technical level and we gave the ball away too much, but we were alert on their counter-attacks, as they hurt us in the past with those.

“We had to be wide awake and stay in the running to the very end. I had no doubts on the character of my players and, as always, they were extraordinary.

“We had to stay in it and make the most of the incident that went our way. The goal means a lot for Dybala and the team.”

With Wednesday’s Champions League return leg at Tottenham looming, Juve rested players but will need to be better away.

“On Wednesday we need a very different performance and approach, partly because Tottenham don’t defend as well as Lazio.”