Serie A TIM


Massimiliano Allegri was in satisfied mood after his Juventus team went top of the table – for a few hours at least – with a 2-0 win over Udinese in Turin on Sunday afternoon.

"Well done to the lads – I’m pleased with how they’re doing," he said. "We secured an excellent result at Wembley in midweek to advance in the Champions League and today we had to beat Udinese, which is exactly what we did. We’re going through a good spell but we can’t get ahead of ourselves because we’ve won nothing yet. We need to stay focused and concentrate on Wednesday because that’s another game we need to win. Napoli are still right up there. Of course, I hope they don’t get a result tonight."

Allegri had warm praise for the way the Bianconeri approached the game on Sunday.

"The team demonstrated patience and showed good quality in their play, plus we defended well too," he said. "[Claudio] Marchisio, [Stefano] Sturaro and [Daniele] Rugani all had good games, as did [Mattia] De Sciglio who was coming back. We have an exciting end to the season ahead and it’s important that the whole squad is fit."

The coach also spoke highly of the performances of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain.

"Paulo is improving – the enforced rest did him good and his goal in London gave him a massive morale boost," he said. "Despite his missed penalty, Gonzalo played well and produced a great assist. I had told Dybala to take the penalty but he preferred to let Higuain have it. The top players need to step up and sometimes they do miss. They’ve both missed two each now, so they shouldn’t be missing any more… [laughter]."

Allegri also looked ahead to the forthcoming Champions League quarter-final draw.

"I hope to avoid both Barcelona and Real Madrid," he admitted. "I think Madrid are the favourites to win the competition. They’re focusing solely on the Champions League and there’s nobody else that deals with games in this competition like they do."

(Photo LaPresse)