NEWS
Wednesday September 20 2017
Allegri: 'Important Juve victory'

Massimiliano Allegri focused on the “important victory and clean sheet” after Juventus beat Fiorentina, but sees an open Scudetto race.

A Mario Mandzukic header proved enough against the 10-man Viola, who saw Milan Badelj sent off for a second bookable offence, but the Coach stormed off in a fury at the final whistle.

“It’s an important victory because we kept a clean sheet, we suffered and in the first half were a bit stubborn, not running any risks,” Allegri told Mediaset Premium.

“The result was crucial and the lads deserve compliments for that. Gonzalo Higuain did well on the Mandzukic goal and his goals will come, he just has to continue playing. There’s no point feeling sorry for yourself, these are moments every striker goes through.”

Stefano Sturaro was used as a right-back, while Rodrigo Bentancur had a very good performance in midfield.

“I decided to rest Stephan Lichtsteiner, as we’ve got another game coming up with Torino on Saturday. In order to be competitive, you have to rotate the squad. Sturaro did well, he’s just getting used to the role.

“Bentancur deserves praise. The only reason we didn’t have a shot on target in the first half was we misplaced the final ball. In these games the important thing is not to run too many risks, we did better in the second half.

“It’s not a stronger or weaker Juventus than last season, it’s simply different. Comparisons are for others to make, we just have to work to ensure we reach March in good shape and in the running for all our objectives.”

Juventus and Napoli are now the only sides with a 100 per cent record after five Serie A rounds, so is this the Scudetto battle?

“Napoli play very well, Juve have a different approach. They are antagonists for the title, but there are others too, as I see four or five teams in the running.

“We have to take it one game at a time and try to win a seventh consecutive Scudetto.”