Juventus and Inter Milan battled to an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Allianz Stadium in Sunday evening’s feature game, with the hosts taking the lead after a well worked move saw Dusan Vlahovic slot home. However, just minutes later Inter scythed through the Juve left side for league top scorer Lautaro Martinez to beat Wojciech Szczesny with a very similar effort to tie it up again.
Speaking after the final whistle, coach Massimiliano Allegri was disappointed with the manner the equalizer was conceded.
“We conceded a very naïve goal, especially as it was only a few minutes after our opener. Inter have already shown that when they have spaces to run into, it makes it easier for them.
“We knew that they tended to pull back low from the by-line and had worked on that, but we conceded it anyway. Perhaps we should’ve fouled them earlier before they got into that position.
“They did well moving it quickly. What we should’ve done was Rugani or Bremer getting closer to Thuram, especially Bremer fouling Thuram so he couldn’t make that pass. This is one of Inter’s strengths and we had practiced all week knowing this was something they did.”
Midfielder Weston McKennie stepped up to support Federico Chiesa and Vlahovic to press the vistors.
“Fortune favours the brave, so we had to be solid, aggressive and we are finding a better sense of balance than in the early games of the season. We must continue to improve and a solid defence is very important.”
Vlahovic celebrated his goal by pointing to the name plate on the back of the shirt and then mimicking the ‘be quiet’ gesture.
“Dusan had I think his best performance since coming to Juventus. Physically he beat De Vrij, while with Chiesa playing wider he also had more spaces to work in. He hasn’t scored for a while, but he always worked hard and let’s also not forget he is only 23 years old.”
Allegri and director Cristiano Giuntoli have both indicated that the goal for this season is to seal a berth in the Champions League, but midfielder Adrien Rabiot seemed to say that they could aim for more than that.
“It was a good performance from the team and it was not easy. I think it has been three years since Juventus played for the top of the table. It was a good four and a half years since I did it too, so I am not accustomed to it either.
“Our objective is to finish in the top four. We maintained our advantage over fifth place, we took the right approach against a team that was waiting for our mistake, so that was a show of maturity. Unfortunately, we conceded an avoidable goal, but against top teams that can happen.”
Was there a possibility that Juve could beef up the midfield in the winter transfer market especially with the Bianconeri short two midfielders, Paul Pogba and Nicolò Fagioli?
“The transfer window doesn’t exist for me in January, because I am very happy with the team that I have at my disposal. Our objective is to take it one step at a time and being only two points off Inter is already something positive.
“The main thing today was to avoid defeat, as it gives us an extra boost in this growth process.”