Juventus ground out a win away at a passionate Fiorentina side in what will be added to the pantheon of Massimiliano Allegri’s defensive masterclasses. Given the horrific flooding in the Tuscany area there were doubts this game would even be played, but the Bianconeri defended deep, deep, deep and basically their hosts didn’t have it in their arsenal to move the bus once Fabio Miretti had scored early on.
Speaking after yet another ‘corto muso’ [by the nose] win, Allegri credited his side’s defending prowess.
“Fiorentina are always complicated to play against, as they attack, they move around, but the lads put in a great performance.
“We scored the goal, suffered more in the first half, in the second Szczesny didn’t have to make a single save, despite all the crosses. The regret is that once we beat their first press, we didn’t make the most of those potential counter-attacking situations when the spaces opened up.
“Games must also be won with suffering, with good defending. We needed Kostic to go a little deeper to be on the same level as Rugani to block off Nico Gonzalez, which wasn’t done enough in the first half.
“Fiorentina played a very good game and we can only tip our hats to them. We defended remarkably well in the box and there was only really one risk, that Rugani clearance on the cross. It reminded me of one Andrea Barzagli made in Juventus-Genoa, taking it off the head of the striker behind him.
“Daniele was bound to struggle when he had Chiellini, Barzagli and Bonucci in front of him, but when he was called upon, he played well. He does better with Bremer next to him too. Rugani, Bremer and Gatti can defend in open ground, but they are learning to defend in the box better now too.”
Funny how Allegri had said Miretti needed to score more goals just before this game, and guess who got the winner for his first in a Juve jersey?
“I am happy for Fabio, as he is criticised sometimes for his performances, when we need to wait for young players to mature and help them through a few errors in the learning process.”
The Bianconeri are now comfortably sitting in second in the Serie A table, two points behind Inter Milan who they play after the next international break, and four clear of AC Milan in third, with the Rossoneri, Atalanta and Lazio also all losing.
“We must always look forwards, but that doesn’t mean the Scudetto. Inter, Milan and Napoli are better equipped, they are more consolidated, whereas we are creating a side with some young and inexperienced players.
“The Inter game means nothing, it is a very long season and we have to work on improving our weaknesses. Inter have been built for years to win the Scudetto regardless of the title race, it is always Inter-Juve.
“Before that, we have Cagliari, who are back on track with three wins in a row.”