The Juventus players seemingly already had their minds on the upcoming penalty shootout while instructions from the bench were to cause a stoppage in play so that Massimiliano Allegri could bring on Leonardo Bonucci for the spotkicks. Unfortunately, that lapse in concentration was all Inter Milan needed to pounce with a last-kick-of-the-game goal that dreams are made of to lift the Supercoppa Italiana at the San Siro.
Speaking after the game, Allegri was more bewildered than anything else.
“It was a real game, a good test for us to see where we are. Unfortunately, football sometimes feels like it was invented by the devil.
“We made a naïve mistake five seconds from the end, but played against the strongest team in Italy at the moment and had several chances, allowing Inter very little. We struggled in the opening 10 minutes, but then did really well.”
What was the overriding emotion among his squad after that late disappointment?
“A defeat five seconds from the end hurts, but we need to use that anger for Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League.
“We need to look at the positives, the team is improving, especially physically. It was a one-off game, it didn’t go the way we wanted, so now we focus on the league.”
Allegri was forced to make a number of changes due to injury and suspension while his counterpart Simone Inzaghi fielded his strongest side.
“This is proof there is a unified approach from everyone. Despite the final error, we saw Alex Sandro return to his usual level, while Daniele Rugani did well again in defence after the Roma game.”
Paulo Dybala was a late substitute in normal time, but was unable to strongly influence the game.
“As we risked in previous games and he suffered relapses, playing more than we had intended against AS Roma, we realised that extra time was possible and had to plan for no more than 60 minutes.”
What did Allegri say to his players after the defeat?
“The first 10 minutes were timid, but we gained confidence and allowed Inter practically nothing in the second half.
“I congratulated the lads on the performance, as it was not easy. When you lose a game like that, especially a trophy, five seconds from the end and have to watch the opposition celebrate, that’s going to hurt. We need to use that going forward.”