Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri full of praise after return to winning ways

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Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri praised his team’s all-round performance after the Serie A leaders returned to winning ways at Sassuolo.

Sami Khedira scored midway through the first half, and should have had at least another goal to his name, before Cristiano Ronaldo got his 20th goal of the season with 20 minutes remaining. Substitute Emre Can rounded off the scoring late on.

It was a first win in three matches for Juventus following defeat at Atalanta in the Coppa Italia and the 3-3 home draw with Parma last weekend.

“(Paulo) Dybala did well when he came on, so did Can and (Rodrigo) Bentancur,” Allegri told the club’s official website.

“To play like this, everyone needs to contribute, but we should also compliment the team for how they dealt with the game.”

Sassuolo started well and put Juventus under some early pressure as Allegri’s side struggled to get going and cheaply conceded possession on numerous occasions, before Khedira struck after 23 minutes.

Allegri said: “We had a risk early on that (goalkeeper Wojciech) Szczesny dealt with, but after a quarter of an hour we started to play.

“They were struggling to cope with (Federico) Bernardeschi in the hole – he was playing well and they couldn’t read his passes. We didn’t concede and we created lots of chances.

“Sassuolo’s game is heavily based on their deep-lying midfielder circulating the ball. They’re one of the teams with the most possession in their own half in the league.”

The win saw Juventus open up an 11-point lead at the top of the Serie A standings.

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

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Giorgio Chiellini hails goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny as Juventus snatch win at Lazio

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Giorgio Chiellini

Giorgio Chiellini admitted Juventus were indebted to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny after they came from behind to snatch a 2-1 win at Lazio.

The hosts were the better side for the majority of the contest, with Szczesny forced into a string of fine saves to keep the Serie A leaders in the game.

But Juventus scored twice in the last 16 minutes, as Joao Cancelo and Cristiano Ronaldo’s late penalty cancelled out the lead Emre Can’s own goal had given Lazio.

Juventus remain unbeaten in Serie A and stretched their lead to 11 points, but Chiellini believed much of the display was their worst of the season.

“For 55-60 minutes it was certainly the worst Juventus performance of the season. Paradoxically, after their goal we found the mental energy more than the physical one to turn it around,” Chiellini told Sky Sport Italia.

“We’ve got players who make the difference. Wojciech Szczesny kept us afloat for an hour, then we managed to fight back and win the game. It has to help us mature, because we have another big game coming up on Wednesday in the Coppa Italia with Atalanta.

“We’ll see the real Juventus from February 20 (Champions League first leg), but it’s important to get the results before that too. We knew it would be tough against Lazio, as it always is.

“March 3 (against second-placed Napoli) will be a crucial date, there’s no denying it, and if we reach that with this advantage, it will be a great situation.”

Lazio were totally dominant in a first half which saw Juve fail to register a single attempt at goal, while the hosts forced Szczesny into five saves before the break.

The hosts continued their fine play into the second half and were deservedly in front as Can inadvertently nodded Luis Alberto’s corner into his own goal.

Ciro Immobile missed a great chance to double the lead when clean through, while Luis Alberto curled just wide.

Lazio were made to pay as Cancelo tapped in the rebound from Paulo Dybala’s shot before Cancelo was pulled down in the area by Senad Lulic and Ronaldo slammed in the penalty two minutes from time.

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'You are fantasising' says Massimiliano Allegri about Paul Pogba return to Juventus

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Coach Massimiliano Allegri said he will not “deceive himself” in thinking a return of Paul Pogba is possible.

Juventus will play on Sunday evening in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico against Lazio.

Juventus is still unbeaten in Serie A this season. In their last ten league matches, Juventus have failed to win just once in a 2-2 away draw with Atalanta.

The Bianconeri are nine points clear of second-placed Napoli in the table. Inter Milan occupy third, but are 16 points off the pace being set at the top of the division.










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