Juventus rolled to yet another single-goal victory, this time against Napoli, to hop to the top of the Serie A league table once again. The Bianconeri have been doing well keeping pressure on Inter Milan with a series of wins, and until the Nerazzurri beat Udinese on Saturday Juve will stay top.
Speaking after the game, coach Massimiliano Allegri was pleased with the result.
“Winning this evening was very important, because we put Napoli at 12 points behind and that is a great result.
“As for dreams and the Scudetto, we need to keep improving step by step, especially when we make too many mistakes. We did well in the first half, moving the ball side to side, then in difficult moments the team becomes a block of granite.
“Napoli had a lot of the ball yes, but not huge opportunities and we had the right spirit.”
Napoli had their chances in the first half, with Kvicha Kvaratskhelia shooting over Wojciech Szczesny in a one-on-one situation, and the goalie making a game-saving save on Giovanni Di Lorenzo.
“I have a group of lads who work hard. What we need to do is slow things down, not always try to make it one-touch football. We should control the ball better in some moments of the match.”
Allegri insists that Juve’s goal is to make the Champions League, but is he saying the same thing to his players as well?
“We can even say in the locker room that we have the ambition to win the Scudetto, but you need to get results. There’s no point talking about what might be, we need to focus on what is. The more we play like this, the more we get these results, the more we keep clear of fifth place and the more we keep up with the leaders who at this moment are the strongest team in the league.
“The lads are eager to improve, very humble and know what their limits are, so we are working on them. The fact that we don’t lose our heads at an error is already a big step forward.”
Juve have now beaten AC Milan and Napoli and drawn with Inter, does that make the Bianconeri contenders.
“Naturally, head-to-head matches have their weight, but so do games like the next with Genoa. This is football, you sometimes have moments of great excitement, sometimes depression, but what we must try to do is find a balance in all things.
“After the error with that counter-attack where we risked conceding a similar goal to the one with Inter, the team did not lose its way. That is a show of maturity.
“Similarly, when Osimhen had that goal disallowed, we did not get anxious. There are areas we need to improve, but in terms of mentality, there has already been progress.”
Defender Federico Gatti epitomizes the model of Juventus that Allegri preaches.
“Juventus, let us not disguise it, have in their DNA for 120 years that you get results through hard work and effort.”