Serie A TIM

SPALLETTI: "WE TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO CLOSE THE GAP"

Luciano Spalletti was pleased to see his side grasp the opportunity to close the gap at the top of the league with an emphatic victory over Palermo on Sunday. Following Juventus's defeat at the hands of AC Milan on Saturday, the Giallorossi had the chance to draw within two points of the Bianconeri at the top of the table - and they made no mistake, securing a 4-1 win at the Stadio Olimpico. Mohamed Salah, Leandro Paredes, Edin Dzeko and Stephan El Shaarawy all got on the scoresheet.

“It was a great victory, we took the opportunity to gain a few points on the league leaders," Spalletti said. "It was important to build on our previous victories in the league. Every now and again, there's too much tension in the team and the players feel the need to do well straight from the off, but overall we were good today.”

There were four goals scored by four different players tonight:
“I interpret goals in a different manner to you. The fact that the goals were scored by different players makes me happy and it validates the work of the team.”

Are Roma the biggest challengers to Juventus or is it too early to say?
“It's too early to say because a few clubs still need to get into their stride and the international fixtures have caused problems for a few sides. Thus right now we need to do well to enjoy this moment and build on our results, like AC Milan yesterday who achieved a great result through a top performance. They're not too young, as some people are saying. They've got everything set up to have their say this season, starting with their manager.”

It was a great team performance this evening, wouldn't you agree?
“We did well in the second half, even though we could have done better at certain points and exploited some situations better. Nevertheless, we scored three good goals. Our foundations are stronger than what we've shown before. The players still need to produce something extra, partly because it's obligatory for us to win here and this causes tension among the players. This club hasn't won a title for a long time and as a result you can sometimes feel the tension, which causes problems. Emerson Palmieri is a great player, when he leaves and adds consistency to his game he will show his ability even more. I don't think we've seen him at top form yet. His performance was good in the second half especially today.”

Have Federico Fazio and Leandro Paredes nailed down their spots in the starting XI?
“They've played a lot and have been in the starting line-up often, but as I've said before we have 23 guys who can play in our first team, especially since the number of games we have and injuries mean we need to have a lot of players available. For example, on Wednesday we're playing against tough opposition in Sassuolo and we need to perform well on their turf to get the result, so we have to choose a talented and strong side.”

(Photo LaPresse)

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