Sunday October 22 2017
Allegri: 'Thanks for Mandzukic red'

Max Allegri thanked Mario Mandzukic for his red card in the 6-2 win over Udinese, “because we had to get back to winning games by suffering.”

The Croatia international was shown a yellow card for a scuffle with Ali Adnan after 25 minutes, protested the decision and immediately received a second booking.

“I wanted to rest Mandzukic for the next game anyway… In fact, I want to thank him, because we had to get back to winning games by defending and suffering for the result, so we can only thank him,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“Over the last two games we had decent performances, but we needed something like this. Down to 10 men, the team was much more focused.

“I said beforehand that this was a key moment in the season, as it would allow us to close up on the leaders. A negative result tonight would’ve been really difficult to swallow. Our fitness levels are growing, players are returning from injury and it’ll be important going forward.

“Sami Khedira’s presence has also helped Miralem Pjanic in midfield. The first year, Khedira was with Pogba and he would push forward when he felt it necessary, but we are a different team now, much more attack-minded.”

Juventus face SPAL on Wednesday evening, then Milan next Saturday, but Leonardo Bonucci will likely be suspended against his former club after a red card for elbowing Genoa defender Aleandro Rosi.

“Bonucci had seven seasons at Juventus, I would’ve liked to see him against us, because it’s always better to take on the strongest opponents.”