Juventus return to the mundane task of completing the formalities of winning the Scudetto this weekend when they travel to Genoa with Napoli 18 points behind and 11 games left to play this season.
Speaking ahead of the trip manager Massimiliano Allegri relived the highs of the astounding 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid that sees Juve in the quarterfinals now to play Ajax Amsterdam.
“We need balance above all else at the moment, though every now and then we do something excessive on one side or the other.
“On Tuesday, it was extraordinary for Juventus to overturn the initial away defeat and win the second leg 3-0. It was an exciting evening and a sign we needed to learn nothing can be taken for granted. Now we must dive back into our Serie A commitments.”
Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a hat-trick in that game, has been rested and has not traveled with the squad. There have been suggestions from Spanish media that the player should be suspended for mimicking Diego Simeone’s lewd celebrations.
“Absolutely not. I think everyone celebrated their own way on the field and in the stands. I saw nothing strange, just a celebration. There won’t be a ban.
“I left Ronaldo at home this weekend because he has played a lot, has the two Portugal games coming up, and it would’ve been risky to keep playing him every few days.
“We have five wins left to be sure of the Scudetto, as Napoli could still in theory reach 90 points. We dropped the ball against Genoa in Turin and were held to a draw, but we need to take it one game at a time.”
If Juve can beat Ajax they will take on the winners of Manchester City versus Tottenham Hotspur in the semifinals.
“I like this new system of the double draw, as at least you get it over quick. There’s no point people saying Ajax are no match for Juventus, because they knocked out Real Madrid, have a lot of talent and are particularly tough to play against on home turf.
“It’ll be different to the Atletico games and it would be a huge mistake to already start thinking about the semi-final.”
Juan Cuadrado, Andrea Barzagli and Sami Khedira are still injured with Douglas Costa needing a late fitness test. Would Allegri use again the formation late on against Atleti?
“It depends on the characteristics of the players. I’d done the same in Madrid, but the difference was we had De Sciglio on the right, who is less attacking than Cancelo, while Paulo Dybala doesn’t have the same characteristics as Federico Bernardeschi. Rodrigo Bentancur was the third midfielder.
“We only changed the actors, but the general script was the same. We just made a worse film in Madrid. We could also rest Blaise Matuidi and Giorgio Chiellini tomorrow. I can confirm Mattia Perin will play in goal.”