Saturday February 2 2019
Allegri: 'Just kick it into the stands!'

Massimiliano Allegri raged at his Juventus players for their “superficial” attitude in a 3-3 draw with Parma. “Beautiful football doesn’t pay off, at the end of the day just kick it into the stands.”

The Old Lady was 3-1 up and looking comfortable in Turin, but deep into stoppages Mario Mandzukic tried to play the ball at his own corner flag and it fell to Gervinho for the equaliser.

“We were too soft defensively and made several errors,” the Coach told DAZN.

“There were certain moves that were superficial and lacking in the necessary concentration. We need to be more focused, we can’t keep taking things for granted.

“We lowered our guard after going 3-1 up and then again on the final ball for the equaliser. You cannot play with that attitude at the 93rd minute with the ball at the corner flag. It was conceptually the wrong thing to try to keep that in play. Just kick it out.”

Allegri said after the 3-0 Coppa Italia defeat to Atalanta midweek that it had been “in the air,” but evidently the wake-up call was not heeded.

“We were lucky to get the win against Lazio, but we were punished by Parma. We need to do a lot of work on our concentration levels.

“On the first goal, there was a cross we should’ve pushed up on, but Cancelo didn’t follow the run. On the second goal, we moved too early and left a massive gap. It’s not possible to score three goals at home and concede three, it means we’re only playing to attack without thought for defence.”

Juventus did have a completely revamped defence, with Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli out of action.

Leonardo Spinazzola got his first Serie A start in a Bianconeri jersey, while Martin Caceres was thrown straight into central defence just days after his transfer from Lazio.

“It was the first time this back four had played together and we didn’t help the centre-backs, always leaving them in one-on-one situations. They need to realise there is no shame in hoofing the ball into the stands if needs be.

“At least we gave those who complained we weren’t entertaining enough something to enjoy. Beautiful football doesn’t pay off, at the end of the day you’ve got to just kick it away from your goal.”

Napoli beat Sampdoria 3-0 today, so the gap at the top of the table is reduced to nine points.

“That is still a healthy advantage and this setback will ultimately do us good.”

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