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Allegri: Juve have to work harder

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Manager’s comments after 4-2 Juventus win away at Benevento

Benevento Calcio v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Juventus allowed Benevento to hang around and equalize twice before taking advantage of two penalties to win away 4-2. The lead over Napoli at the top of the table is now seven points with the second-placed side yet to play.

After the game manager Massimiliano Allegri was quite displeased.

“We stopped a little after Dybala’s goal. The equaliser came and we got the sensation that we were genuinely at risk. That had started against Milan last week, where we conceded many shots for the first time in months.

“It was a sign we needed to defend better and remain more concentrated. I had to compliment the lads, as it was important to get the victory after the defeat to Real Madrid and we managed to set that loss aside.”

Speaking of Madrid -

“A season has different moments, the key is to recognise them and try to adjust quickly. I saw issues against Milan and Real Madrid, they were clear again here today. We have to work harder, close down the opponents faster and allow fewer shots on goal. The good news is that we won the match.

“I read criticism of Dybala and others after the Madrid game, but it was a very balanced match up to the hour mark. Much more balanced than it was in Cardiff, in the semi-finals and against Barcelona.

“Cristiano Ronaldo won five Ballon d’Ors, he scored in every Champions League game this season. We must put in a great performance in Madrid with the world watching and then see what happens.”

Mario Mandzukic got the nod today.

“Mandzukic is a crucial player for us with his physical characteristics and temperament. He didn’t do brilliantly today as a centre-forward, but is struggling a little physically.”

Allegri took the opportunity to rotate his squad and get a few different players on.

“We’ve got to take every last drop of energy we’ve got left to go for the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and of course the second leg in Madrid. It’s not easy to keep winning at that pace.”

On Europe -

“Our European ambitions must be strong, as they always are. When I first arrived, there was this terror we wouldn’t be able to get out of the group stage. We’ve since reached two Finals in three years.

“If people think Juventus have to win the title and Champions League every year, then that’s unrealistic. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City can’t manage it, so why should we be expected to?

“That doesn’t mean there’s a lack of ambition. The Champions League can be transformed by one incident in five minutes, or even by the luck of the draw, but with a league title you have 38 rounds to earn your silverware.”