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Allegri stresses importance of focus after Juve thrash Palermo

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri stressed the importance of maintaining focus after beating relegation-threatened Palermo 4-0 to go nine points clear.

The defending champions made it seven straight Serie A wins – and a remarkable 22 out of their last 23 league outings – to move closer towards a fifth consecutive Scudetto title on Sunday.

Allegri did, however, warn his players that complacency is not an option and felt Juve should have been more ruthless against Palermo. 

“We had several goal-scoring chances in the first half, but we lost focus after 10 minutes,” he said. “Nobody can afford that, not even us. The goal difference is at stake.

“We must not concede goals. The game must be managed better because we’re in the final sprint. You’ve got to kill off your opponents when they’re dying.”

Napoli’s 2-0 defeat at Inter on Saturday allowed Juve to open up a sizeable gap at the top of Serie A, but Allegri does not see the title race as over.

He added: “Yesterday’s game made it look like the challenge for the Scudetto was over, but that’s not the case. I won’t calculate our odds to win, we just need to make more points.”

Goals from Sami Khedira, Paul Pogba, Juan Cuadrado and Simone Padoin sunk Palermo. And Allegri singled out Pogba, Paulo Dybala and Mario Lemina for praise. 

He said: “That Pogba should have quality and be decisive is already well-known. I sometimes tell him off, because it doesn’t make sense that he should go a whole game without mistakes, only for mistakes to multiply themselves as soon as he makes a single one.

“Lemina played a good game. He must improve tactically, making less mistakes. I chose him because he offered me protection, though we have alternatives in that position.

“Morata did well and so did Dybala. He [Morata] gave us technique and did well physically, although he still committed a few errors from inexperience.”

Allegri went on to hail his squad, as he said: “Judging by the results, yes, this is the strongest Juventus team. We can improve with a group of excellent veterans or very good youngsters. This team has an important future.”

Sun 17 Apr, 2016
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