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Allegri: Costa can break a game open

Manager’s comments after inspired substitution almost decides Scudetto

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

At halftime it was looking like Juventus had nothing in the tank for the most important part of the season - the home stretch. But once again manager Massimiliano Allegri made an inspired substitution bringing on Douglas Costa who blew the doors off Bologna in a 3-1 win.

“He is one of those players who can make the difference and break a game open. Last night he became a father to a little girl, so he didn’t get much sleep and I left him initially on the bench.”

Juve are three points away from a record-breaking seventh straight Scudetto, and if Napoli lose to Torino on Sunday it could come as soon as this weekend.

“It’s not done yet for the Scudetto, we are three points away and have to earn them.

“Bologna played well this evening and defended stoutly, while we made life difficult for ourselves with a mix-up for the penalty, but fortunately we reacted.”

The side struggled in the first half and Bologna even took a shock lead.

“We were without Benedikt Howedes, so needed some more quality in defence from Kwadwo Asamoah to keep Alex Sandro forward.

“I had already said before kick-off that Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi could be important options off the bench.

“When Bologna play like that, and they did the same in the first half against Lazio, they are difficult to break down or find spaces between the lines.

“There were a few chances, not massively clear-cut, but we had them. Bologna took the lead thanks to our mix-up at the back and we had to give it a strong reaction in the second half.”

Juventus have an opportunity to pick up a trophy on Wednesday in the Coppa Italia Final against AC Milan.

“We’re facing a Milan side that is doing great things recently, but it’s a Final and obviously we play to win.”