Juventus did just enough to put away bottom side Venezia who fought hard to end their eight-game losing streak. A brace from unlikely source and birthday boy Leonardo Bonucci was enough for Juve to pick up three points and keep the pressure on Napoli sitting in third spot just a point ahead.
Speaking after the game, coach Massimiliano Allegri was relieved to take the 2-1 win.
“It was a good start to the game, a series of shots on goal and we took the lead, but then we got a bit too deep, still creating chances to double our lead.
“After the break, the goal was in the air for Venezia and they did really well. We were fortunate to score the second goal straight away.
“You can talk about tactics, we could do better, but the fact remains it’s been the same players in every game for three months now and we have to take this as a good result.”
Allegri was asked again about his irritation that Juve are not challenging for the Scudetto.
“There’s no point going back over the Cristiano Ronaldo exit, but we also lost a lot of players to traumatic injuries and that was damaging. Reflecting after the game, if we are in this position, it’s not that bad. If we had beaten Villarreal and reached the Champions League quarter-final, we might’ve used up energy needed to retain fourth place in Serie A. So let’s look at the positives.”
Teenager Fabio Miretti got his first start and put in a very good performance in the midfield.
“Fabio had a good game, he knows how to play football, so it’s easier for him. He always tries to pass it forward, which is a good sign, he played with good character and I am very pleased that the team looked to him today. I thank the Juventus academy that raised him over the last eight years.
“It’s rare that a lad who is raised in the youth academy then makes it to the senior squad, that is just statistics, I saw it at Milan first and then Juventus.
“I don’t know if we’ll see other youth players this season, but it’s natural at this age you see them one day and they seem like champions, you see them another and they seem hopeless. Everyone has a different journey, we already have players in the squad who need to gain experience and need to find that balance.
“Some young players need more calm on the ball, but Miretti already seems to have that.”
The young midfielder was thrilled with the opportunity to play today.
“It was an indescribable emotion for me to make my debut at the Stadium, as I had always come here only as a fan.
“The Under-23 side is an important project, it allows you to measure yourself up in a tough league like Serie C without immediately having to make the leap from the youth team to Serie A.”
While this was not his first game for the Bianconeri first team, it was certainly his first start and he got to play in a shielding role ahead of the midfield today.
“I consider myself an attacking midfielder and I am inspired by Kevin De Bruyne, but I can also play in a more central role the way I did today.”