Max Allegri jokingly thanked Miralem Pjanic for getting injured against Sampdoria and tried to calm speculation on his Juventus future.
Douglas Costa came off the bench for Pjanic just before half-time and went on to provide three assists in the 3-0 victory.
“I have to thank Miralem Pjanic, as his injury allowed me to make the change,” smiled Allegri on Mediaset Premium.
“Douglas Costa was meant to come on, not quite that early, but it was part of the plan. Samp play and defend centrally, so we had to spread them out and go round them with crosses from the flanks.
“We are absolutely not favourites for the Scudetto. I want to thank everyone today, because it’s not easy to win like this after such a draining experience as the Champions League.
“We played with focus, calm and intelligence. Then Pjanic did the rest! He just had a thigh twinge and it was best to come off.”
“This was a difficult match. Unfortunately he had a horrible year with injuries, it wasn’t easy to find the right moment for him to play, but Stephan Lichtsteiner played 90 minutes in Madrid and needed a rest.”
Benedikt Howedes was making only his second appearance of the season and found the back of the net with a diving header.
“Howedes has technique, he was first choice for Germany and scored a splendid goal. I am happy for him, he deserved it, as he is a lovely guy and waited so long.”
Juve are now six points clear at the top of the Serie A table, as Napoli were held to a goalless draw by Milan, and the two sides go head-to-head next weekend.
“Napoli are having a sensational campaign, they are still right up there and I think the next two games could be almost decisive for the Scudetto.”
In his Press conference, Allegri seemed to hint that he still had to discuss his future with the club and wasn’t sure whether he was staying.
“Maybe my words were misunderstood. I simply said that every March-April we meet to plan the future. I am happy here, I am fully in sync with the club. I go on vacation when the transfer window opens, as I trust the club completely.
“We still need to pick some objectives. If we don’t win the Scudetto and Coppa Italia, they might not still want me! We’ll talk it over the way we always do, every year, there’s no difference.”