Coppa Italia


Massimiliano Allegri believes that the Bianconeri must be ready for a battle in TIM Cup semi-final first leg against Atalanta.

"It was a hard win against Chievo, it’s always difficult to play against teams who bring 10 men behind the ball and play in their area. So the guys did well against a nine-man Chievo side to stay patient, and keep their cool to find the right time to score when there wasn't a lot of space. The longer these type of games go on, the more complicated and difficult it becomes to score, of course winning is never simple.

"I’m happy that Gonzalo Higuain found the net against Chievo Verona in our last match, it’s good to have him back scoring. I also think that we have improved a bit as a team as well, against Genoa after the break we played well until we scored, and then we switched off a bit in terms of game management.

"You have to return from the winter break with the right mental attitude, as in the second half of the season it becomes more difficult to win matches, because the points start to weigh. Teams become more afraid of conceding and losing games, so they become more careful and more alert, and if you don’t unlock the match everything becomes more difficult."

"Atalanta have become a very tough team in our league and they deserve a lot of credit as does their manager, Gian Piero Gasperini, he is an adversary to be respected. They are doing very well in Europe, in the league and also in the cup, they also have some excellent youngsters.

"Playing in Bergamo is always complicated, we will need to be spot on with our balance, tactics and technique. When we played Atalanta in the league we started well for the first half-hour, but then dropped off during the game and allowed our opponents back into it. Tomorrow is different, it’s a cup match and it’s 180 minutes, so we need to score on the road to take a lead to Turin.

"Spinazzola and Caldara are two important players for Atalanta, who have grown a lot under the management of Gasperini. In June, we will see what to do about them." 

"The TIM Cup remains an important objective of ours along with the Champions League and Serie A TIM. It's a competition that shouldn't be downplayed, we don't play for a thousand trophies but for three: Serie A TIM, TIM Cup and UCL. We always want to get to the final in Rome.

"It's in Juve's DNA to have the desire to win every day. Our next goal is now tomorrow's game to set us up well for the return leg. Then we will think about the league and the Champions League, getting to a fourth straight final would be a great result, but first we have to think about going to Bergamo."

(Photo LaPresse)