Speaking after Juve’s 2-0 away win over Crotone, Massimiliano Allegri expressed his delight at the team’s performance:
“Crotone have lost a number of times towards the end of games, which shows they know how to hold on out there on the pitch. They leave very little space in behind,” he commented. “We were aware of that and I think we did well. We could have done better in the first half, especially with the speed of our passing. But overall, we were well organised and gave our opponents very little, if anything. We played our game with a clear approach and a good shape.”
The coach reacted to the pattern of play in the first half, altering the roles of Paulo Dybala and Marko Pjaca: “We had little space down the right-hand side and we weren’t able to bring the ball in-field from the left. Changing the positions of Dybala and Pjaca gave us more space between the lines, so we could go man-for-man against the centre-backs. Paulo and Marko were able to cut in onto their stronger feet and create chances,” he added.
The latter’s performance was one that the boss picked out for praise: “I’m really pleased. I always say that he will be key in this second half of the season. I say it because I see how he’s performing. The more he plays, the more he’s developing. In our build-up play, in our passing; I’m impressed with how he’s grown.” On Mario Mandzukic, who opened the scoring for the Bianconeri, Allegri said: “He’s got a better engine than others; he’s able to play game after game in quick succession. Of course, Mario will get a chance to rest and recover too.”
As for Juve’s challengers for the Scudetto, Allegri had this to say: “Roma and Napoli are playing well. But we just have to concentrate on what we need to do. Tonight, for example, we didn’t concede and that’s a positive for sure.”