Juventus got off to a good start and led 2-0 early on in against bottom-side Salernitana, before then going into cruise control to secure the three points and narrow the gap with Inter Milan to just one point, though the
Mer Nerazzuri do have a game in hand. Interestingly, the first game after the international break will be the Derby D’Italia, which could prove decisive for third place in the Scudetto race.
The opening goal came from Paulo Dybala whose contract talks breakdown seems to be grabbing all the headlines nowadays, but Massimiliano Allegri remains calm about chatter regarding La Joya’s future despite rumours of a training ground argument between the pair this week.
“The rapport with Paulo and all the players is good. There are some exchanges of opinion, I am always rather direct, but I am like this for the good of the players, who know they have my faith and admiration.
“Paulo arrived as a kid from Palermo, he has become a great player. There’s no problem. I don’t know if he will be a Juventus player or not, that is a matter for the club.”
Has Allegri been involved in the contract negotiations?
“We often talk with the club, it’s not just Paulo whose contract is running down, but also Federico Bernardeschi, Mattia De Sciglio, Mattia Perin and Juan Cuadrado.
“My job is to do well in these final weeks of the season. I can evaluate players, but when it comes to contracts, what the players want, these are other elements.”
Were it not for a brutal start to the season, Juve could be sitting pretty at the top of the table right now. Were Juve’s growing pains this campaign due to Cristiano Ronaldo leaving after the season started?
“Ronaldo left three days from the end of the transfer window, I’d only been there six weeks, I had started working in a certain way, but then realised we had to make changes. Once we raised the intensity level and played more as a team, the results were marvellous.
“It’s an important stage of the season, we can still have our say in Serie A and the Coppa Italia.”
Juve started out this game on fire, was that planned?
“We took an aggressive start, as there was the risk of tension, because nobody expected us to go out of Europe like that. We were a little more tired after the break, could still have scored a third goal, but the important thing was to get the victory and now for the first time we are within four points of second place. It’s second, third, whatever you want, Inter have a game in hand.
“Hopefully we’ll get some players back to full fitness after the break for international duty. Dusan Vlahovic got back to scoring, he had good support from the rest of the team, he just needs to improve on his first touch and making the moves cleaner, but he knows that.”