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Allegri: Football was the real winner

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Manager’s comments after great comeback win for Juve

FC Internazionale v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Juventus pulled off a miraculous late win away at Inter in the Derby D’Italia to kickstart their Scudetto hopes and manager Massimiliano Allegri was fired up speaking to Sky Italia.

“I think football was the winner, as we saw two teams battle it out to the end in front of a marvellous crowd.

“Winning was important, we’ve taken another small step towards the Scudetto and need to win another three. Inter lost intensity towards the end and that was only natural in the circumstances.

“It was decisive today, because if we didn’t win, Napoli would’ve overtaken us with a victory in Florence. You never know what can happen in the final rounds.”

Allegri was sent off in the melee that followed Gonzalo Higuain’s winner -

“They were all celebrating, there was still a while to go and we had to be concentrated. I didn’t want a repeat of Napoli and Real Madrid…”

Things got more heated when Allegri was asked if more was expected of Juve playing against 10-man Inter -

“We should’ve done more, undoubtedly. We can’t sit back and try to control a game, because then we fall asleep. Bringing home victories at this stage of the season is tough.

“At this moment, we are lacking sharpness. We should’ve found Mario Mandzukic and Douglas Costa between the lines, but when we went forward, we didn’t change gear.

“Last week was one of the worst games of the season, not just for us, but for Napoli too. Don’t tell me they played well, otherwise I may as well go…

“We played badly last week and against Crotone, but it’s not easy to win all the time. In 21 games we won 18, drew two and lost only one. Otherwise you expect us to get 170 points per season.

“How many campaigns have you seen? I’ve watched at least 40 and you cannot win every game. There are moments of the season and they must be understood.

“Football is becoming too much about theory and tactics, you’re ruining the game.”

The manager then really lost his temper when asked why he was relying on individual skill instead of having a better game plan -

“Do you watch basketball? A move lasts 24 seconds, you have the ball and have three seconds, so who do you give it to? The most talented player.

“You think that in football, made up of tackles, running and accurate passing, that systems win? So let’s pay for tactics and say Leo Messi is worthless! Same for Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuain.

“You don’t look at players or skills, but only systems, that is what’s damaging Italian football! A good defensive organisation does matter, but champions and their skills must be praised.

“But no, you go ahead and keep talking about tactics and don’t watch champions play. Yeah, well done.”

On the Scudetto race -

“Nothing is ever certain in football. I knew it would be tough and in the final four rounds there is always more pressure than when you play in September.

“Even a side with great mental strength will have moments where they lose confidence. Fortunately, the lads have found it again and we turned it around.

“It’ll make a big difference in the Scudetto race. It is very difficult to win at San Siro and the lads put in an extraordinary performance. We know that we’ve got to win them all.”

Referee Daniele Orsato sent off Matias Vecino early in the game, but Miralem Pjanic appeared lucky not to get a second booking.

“Orsato had a good game. I thought he was fair. Of course, some decisions will always be controversial, but Orsato is one of the best referees in Serie A.”