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Allegri explains Ronaldo decision, defends Szczesny

Coach’s comments after poor start to new campaign

Udinese Calcio v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Massimiliano Allegri showed tremendous restraint in not tearing off his jacket and hurling it to the ground at Udinese in his return to Juventus. If anything, he saw first-hand exactly how difficult a task he faces with this inconsistent Juve side that continues to be equally capable of being sublime and shocking within seconds of each other.

Speaking after the game, Allegri explained his reasoning behind not naming Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting lineup with rumours continuing to swirl that the superstar asked to not be in the lineup as he seeks a transfer away even though there’s no news of a bid for him.

“Ronaldo is feeling well. I had talked to him before the game, telling him he would start on the bench. He made himself available, he did well when he entered the pitch, he also scored a goal, but it was disallowed.”

The Bianconeri played a perfect first half going into an early lead through Paulo Dybala that they then added to through Juan Cuadrado. But in the second half they hit the woodwork a couple of times while allowing the home side to equalize late on.

“We played a good game. Unfortunately, that’s what football is about. We should have done better in the second half, we were unable to manage unexpected events. This must serve us as a lesson.

“We lost too many balls in the middle of the park in the second half. Perhaps we were a little tired. Still, you can’t concede these kinds of goals. We defended well, we hadn’t conceded a shot on target.”

Latest signings Manuel Locatelli and Kaio Jorge were both named as subs, with the midfielder coming on for the last few minutes.

“Locatelli can play as a playmaker or mezzala, he is not 100% fit yet, Ramsey played a good game as a deep-lying playmaker, but we had to manage certain situations in a different way,”

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had a miserable game, fumbling the ball more than once to concede a penalty, and then making things worse with a boneheaded display with trying to clear his area.

“Szczesny is a great goalkeeper, he didn’t make a technical mistake, we should have understood the moment and don’t be ashamed of throwing the ball in the stands.”

Five substitutions were not even in the rules the last time he was in charge of Juventus.

“There are many games, I still need to understand how to use five subs, it was the first time I can use them, I don’t know if I used them correctly or not. I need to adapt.”