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Allegri: More important to focus on the Champions League

Manager’s comments after a surprise loss at SPAL

SPAL v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

Juventus had to put their Scudetto celebrations on hold after a much-changed side slipped to a surprise 2-1 loss away at SPAL.

Speaking after the game, Massimiliano Allegri seemed unconcerned about the loss.

“We had a lot of young players and they did well, but above all the second goal showed a lack of experience.

“We reacted well in the second half, but couldn’t get the game back on track. Paolo Gozzi had a good game, including after Andrea Barzagli went off. Grigoris Kastanos was struggling a little in the role of mezz’ala, while Hans Nicolussi and Stephy Mavididi did well.

“I needed to see the conditions of Juan Cuadrado, who is unfortunately off the Champions League squad list, and also Dybala, whose fitness levels weren’t at their best. The more he plays, the better shape he gets into. He rediscovered some enthusiasm today and it wasn’t easy for him psychologically of late to have only 20 minutes or so and then get hurt again.

“At a big club, you must fight every day to earn your space in the team and I am very happy with what he did today. It’s a good sign for Tuesday, as we must be ready and prepare for the potential of extra time too.”

Moise Kean got on the scoresheet again, for the sixth game in a row.

“Kean was feeling a little tired, so I preferred to take him off. When he starts moving wide and doesn’t attack the goal as much, it means it’s time to get him off the field.

“He has different characteristics to Mario Mandzukic, but obviously having him in this shape is important and I’ll evaluate what to do on Tuesday.

“Dybala moved well and had a good game, so there are certainly positive responses going towards Tuesday. Blaise Matuidi is certainly available, as he just had cramp. Douglas Costa we’ll see, they tell me Emre Can is doing far better, while we’ll test Giorgio Chiellini in training tomorrow morning.

“Chiellini was fine after Cagliari, despite getting a knock, but his calf muscles do cause problems every now and then, so we have to be careful.”

If Napoli fail to beat bottom team Chievo tomorrow Juve will still be celebrating the Scudetto.

“It would’ve been easy to field the first choice XI today and get the Scudetto, but we’ve had such a remarkable run of results this season that it was more important to focus on the Champions League game coming up.

“The key to Juventus winning the Scudetto is that we do well in the head-to-head clashes, but above all bring home the points everywhere else.

“You usually win the Scudetto with 84-86 points, but last term Napoli had 91 – a club record – and still finished second, so our performance that season was extraordinary.”