Massimiliano Allegri admits Juventus are 'still getting to know' Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Managing a superstar: Allegri and Ronaldo.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri accepts it will take time for Cristiano Ronaldo to fully settle in after his side battled to a dramatic 3-2 victory at Chievo, which shows how hard their serie a title defence will be.

Portugal forward and Ballon d’Or holder Ronaldo took centre stage at the Bentegodi on his competitive debut following a €100m summer transfer from Real Madrid.

However, it needed a huge team effort and a last-gasp winner from the defending champions to secure three points in Verona.

Following a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of Tuesday’s bridge collapse in Genoa, Sami Khedira gave Juve an early lead, which was cancelled out by a towering header from Mariusz Stepinski.

Chievo went 2-1 ahead from the penalty spot early in the second half through a penalty from former Juve winger Emanuele Giaccherini, only for an own goal by defender Mattia Bani to level things up again.

Substitute Mario Mandzukic thought he had won it with a late header, given by goal-line technology, only for the effort to be ruled out following a referral by the Video Assistant Referee after Chievo goalkeeper Stefano

Sorrentino had taken a heavy blow from Ronaldo in the build-up.

Juve, aiming to deliver a record eighth successive serie a crown, showed the spirit of champions to score a legitimate winner deep into five minutes of stoppage time when substitute Federico Bernardeschi turned in a low cross from Alex Sandro.

“It makes us realise how tough it’s going to be to win the league again,” Allegri said afterwards to the club website.

“We made a lot of mistakes today and let our focus drop. You think you’re in control and you ease off a touch, then you let your opponents get crosses in, you defend badly and you end up conceding.

“In any case, a game like that will only do us good because it makes us realise how tough it’s going to be to win the league again.”

Felice per la prima vittoria con la maglia della Juve!👍🏽

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

Allegri accepts it will take time for his men to find their rhythm alongside a their new talisman.

“We’ve only had the whole squad training together for seven days,” he said.

“We’re still getting to know (Cristiano) Ronaldo. He linked up well with (Paulo) Dybala today and I was impressed by how easily he slotted into the team.

“It’s a shame he couldn’t score himself, but Sorrentino denied him a couple of times. He was happy we got the win anyway.

“(Joao) Cancelo played well in the first half, then he gave away the penalty and felt guilty about it – but you mustn’t get down over something like that.”

Most popular

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri impressed by 'ease' of seamless Cristiano Ronaldo debut

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri was wowed by the “ease” of Cristiano Ronaldo’s acclimatisation as his Serie A debut ended with a 3-2 win against Chievo.

All eyes were on the Portugal forward following his €100 million (Dh420.5m) summer transfer from Real Madrid – but it needed a team effort from the defending champions to secure three points in Verona.

Sami Khedira put the visitors in front after just three minutes, before Mariusz Stepinski equalised with a towering header.

Chievo went 2-1 ahead from the penalty spot early in the second half through a penalty from former Juve winger Emanuele Giaccherini, before an own goal from defender Mattia Bani levelled things up again.

Substitute Mario Mandzukic thought he had won it with a late header, given by goalline technology, only for the effort to be ruled out following a referral by the Video Assistant Referee.

The decision, following a lengthy review on the pitchside monitor by Fabrizio Pasqua, appeared to be for a handball from Ronaldo in the build-up, which saw Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino take a heavy blow and eventually need to be replaced.

Juve, though, showed the spirit of champions to score a legitimate winner deep into five minutes of stoppage time when Bernardeschi turned in a low cross from Alex Sandro.

“Cristiano held up well on his debut, it’s a pity he didn’t score but he worked well with the team after only seven days together,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“I was struck by how at ease he was in the team, he was very happy with the win at the end, he had a good match.

“It’s a victory that we needed, to get us into the championship.”

Ronaldo’s eight attempts on goal was the most by any Juve players. His new employers will hope to see this statistic soon reflected in the goals-scored column.

“We let our focus dip after the first goal, we thought we had the match in the bag,” said Allegri.

“Ronaldo had several shots on target today, Sorrentino made several saves, there were also some good movements that were not rewarded by the midfielders.

“He pulled a lot, he moved between the lines, but he was not being served on several occasions.

“We were caught napping on the equaliser and did better with Bernardeschi and Mandzukic coming on towards the end,” added Allegri.

“We need to find balance, but the most important thing is not to fall asleep when we’re doing well.”

Most popular

Serie A must wait to see best of Cristiano Ronaldo and other Juventus talking points

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Serie A debut for Juventus ended in a thrilling 3-2 victory at Chievo, thanks to a stoppage-time goal from substitute Federico Bernardeschi.

Sami Khedira put the visitors in front after just three minutes, before Mariusz Stepinski equalised with a towering header.

Chievo went 2-1 ahead from the penalty spot early in the second half through ex-Juve winger Emanuele Giaccherini’s penalty, before an own goal from defender Mattia Bani levelled things up again.

Mario Mandzukic’s header was ruled out after extensive video review, after which Juve showed the spirit of champions to score a legitimate winner deep into five minutes of stoppage time when Bernardeschi turned in a low cross from Alex Sandro.

RONALDO’S WAITING GAME

The logic was clear when Juve broke with all accepted norms to snare Ronaldo for €100 million (Dh420.5m) from Real Madrid.

This was the superstar addition to extrapolate the seven-times-successive champions’ domestic hegemony to the continental stage.

Tactically, this would not come at great cost. The Portugal icon was simply a premium version of Gonzalo Higuain.

Of Ronaldo’s leading eight attempts, he only seriously threatened in the second half with a curled effort and free-kick. His 57 touches was the third-lowest of any outfield Juve starter.

Ronaldo’s flash of stepovers and ‘spaghetti’ hair caught the attention for Manchester United on his Premier League debut 15 years ago. The first of 311 La Liga goals came from the penalty spot in his bow for Madrid.

This time, he played no part in Juve’s three allowed goals. Calcio fans, unsurprisingly, await to see his best.

OLD LADY’S NEW GROOVE

Genuine excitement greeted the Juve XI.

It wasn’t just the Ronaldo effect, or the beginning of another title defence.

Head coach Massimiliano Allegri showed real attacking endeavour with his selection. From full-backs Sandro and Joao Cancelo tasked with providing ceaseless width, to Argentina forward Paulo Dybala pulling the strings behind a front three of Brazil winger Douglas Costa, centre forward Ronaldo and Colombia’s Juan Cuadrado.

A trio of goals came on the opening weekend from 26 attempts. Much, much more should follow.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-CHIEVO-JUVENTUS

BONUCCI’S EVENTFUL RETURN

A familiar face took its place at the heart of Juve’s backline.

After an uncertain season exiled at AC Milan, Leonardo Bonucci was back for the Old Lady.

Sheen to this storyline at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi was provided when his presence forced Bani’s misdeed to equalise at 2-2.

But Allegri – the cause of his 2017 exit – will concentrate on the alarming gap Stepinski stepped into between the returning star and Giorgio Chiellini to make it 2-1 to the hosts.

Defending as a pair, seemingly, isn’t like riding a bike.

Most popular