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Allegri: Juve lost organisation, made far too many mistakes

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Manager’s comments after Juve squeak by Napoli in dramatic clash

SSC Napoli v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Juventus virtually ended the Scudetto race yesterday beating Napoli 2-1 in a top of the table clash that saw both teams end the game with ten men.

The Bianconeri are now 16 points clear with 12 games left to play, but it didn’t quite go to plan in the second half when Miralem Pjanic got sent off for a second bookable offence handling an innocuous pass in the middle.

Speaking after the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri talked about the game.

“I fell asleep, as I should’ve replaced Pjanic when he had the first card. He was at risk, but I didn’t expect him to handle.

“We lost some of our organisation, Napoli gained courage and the crowd pushed them forward. We had a chance to score another, but then we defended well and on the penalty Lorenzo Insigne missed.

“Naturally, with a 16-point advantage and the superior head-to-head record, it’s a good lead, but nothing can be said until it’s mathematically secure.”

There were some questions about whether goalkeeper Alex Meret touched Cristiano Ronaldo at all to earn the red card he got in the first half. Referee Gianluca Rocchi then made another questionable call, giving a penalty for Alex Sandro inadvertently handling off a point-blank shot late in the game.

“The rules, from what I’ve been told, state that Meret should be sent off whether he makes contact or not. The referee decided, as did the VAR. The referee had a good game and he read the situations well.

“However, we made far too many mistakes with our passing, we got too deep and allowed Napoli forward. On the positive side, we were able to suffer under pressure.

“I had put Federico Bernardeschi behind their midfielders to help set up Mario Mandzukic and Ronaldo, but we weren’t able to get those balls between the lines. After we took the lead and they went down to 10 men, I preferred to move things around.”

With the Serie A settled for this season, talk went to the upcoming Champions League return leg against Atletico Madrid in a week.

“We’ll need a lot of patience, cool heads and focus in that game, because we could end up at the 70th minute without a goal. That won’t mean we are eliminated.

“It’s important we shake off this pressure, because this is a football match, it has to be played. We need to be more relaxed and take our chances.”

Along with the Champions League are always questions about where Allegri will be next season.

“With regards to my future, I already said we’ll sit down to talk about this season and the next. I am very happy to be at Juventus, but it takes two to reach an agreement on the best route to take.”