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Allegri satisfied by performance in Juventus win over Atalanta

Coach’s comments after tense victory in Bergamo sends Juve into second place

Atalanta BC v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images

Needing a win to both go second while extinguishing hosts Atalanta’s Champions League hopes, Juventus got goals from Samuel Iling-Junior on his full debut and star striker Dusan Vlahovic for a 2-0 victory in Bergamo in Sunday’s early game.

The game was marked by ugly scenes late in the second half with the home crowd serenading substitute Vlahovic with racist chants, which he then initially quietened by bagging Juve’s second goal of the game, but when the abuse got even louder he celebrated his goal by shushing the crowd, leading him to getting booked by referee Daniele Doveri, scenes that were a replay of what had happened to Romelu Lukaku in Turin during the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter Milan.

Speaking after the game, coach Massimiliano Allegri sought to defuse the tension around Vlahovic.

“Unfortunately, those moments are ugly and must be battled, but also without putting too much weight on them.

“The lads worked really hard today, we won a difficult match, our first away since March and it was against a strong Atalanta side.”

Vlahovic was booked for his goal celebration just like Lukaku was, did Allegri think that there should be a rule change regarding that?

“That is not for me to say, there are people who are in charge of these things. I can only say Dusan came on, did very well, but these racist chants have to be shut down. We also as players and coaches must try to ignore them. I know it’s not easy, but we have to.”

Allegri confirmed that Iling-Junior would not be joining up with the England youth squad for the Under-20 World Cup starting in a couple of weeks in Argentina.

“Iling is staying with us during the Under-20 World Cup. Like all young players, he has ups and downs. He returned from injury, had a sore ankle and seemed like his less talented cousin, but is now back in shape and doing very well.”

Both sides missed big chances to jump into the lead in the first half before Juve got the opener early in the second stanza.

“The first half started well, then we began to slow the moves down, misplace a few passes and that gave Atalanta courage. We pushed more in the second half and forced them out of position.

“It was also the hottest day of the year and that took a lot out of both teams. We should’ve scored the second goal earlier and been sharper.”

Fans have become used to Allegri’s antics on the touchline late on in games, and there was more today as he argued furiously with midfielder Paul Pogba after a turnover.

“With Paul’s quality and characteristics, he cannot lose the ball in those situations. He told me to relax, but there’s no relaxing, we needed to keep the ball at that moment!”

The Bianconeri’s next game is on Thursday when they take on Sevilla in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

“Sevilla are a strong side with a lot of experience who are accustomed to this sort of situation, so we need to be at our best.”