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Allegri: Wins like this send a signal

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Manager’s comments after Juventus beat Milan

Juventus played intelligently to beat an AC Milan side that huffed and puffed and saw their own goal blown down instead late in the game. After a belaboured 3-1 win, manager Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the media.

“I’m happy for Leonardo Bonucci that he got a goal, but I’m even happier that Juventus won.

“It was important to get back to winning ways against Milan, who are in good shape. We scored, then ground to a halt. The lads did well to bring the result home in a difficult fixture and to increase our lead at the top of the table. Wins like this send a signal.”

Juan Cuadrado got the go-ahead goal late in the game, in his return from injury after over three months.

“Cuadrado amazed me, in a good way. In the past he would sometimes struggle coming off the bench, but he made an immediate impact.”

Napoli drew 1-1 with Sassuolo earlier, so Juve knew a win would put the Bianconeri four points ahead with eight games left to play.

“We must continue taking it one game at a time and try to win them all.”

Sami Khedira has received a lot of flak this season from the fans, and was even jeered at times today, but he proved the difference late in the game with Miralem Pjanic off, crossing for Juan Cuadrado’s winner before adding an insurance goal himself.

“Khedira is a world class player and he knows how to read the crucial moments of a match. That is very important, as in some moments you need certain players and at others you can change and introduce substitutes who can turn it around.

“We really could’ve done with a player like Khedira against SPAL, as he is so intelligent. At times he might seem slow or error-prone, but he reads the game so well and emerges in the long run.”

Even club captain Gigi Buffon came to Khedira’s defence, scolding fans for attacking him.

“On Tuesday against Real Madrid we’re going to need the passion of real Juventini. At times in this stadium, there are grumbles and jeers at the first sign of difficulty, but a team like ours has to be given a good 80 minutes of tedium before it’s worth jeering.

“We need to be supported unconditionally, whether it’s me or Khedira, as we need the help of our fans. Sami must never be jeered, he’s a great professional and he wears our jersey. We stay together to the end, not after 20 minutes.”