Massimiliano Allegri described Gianluigi Buffon as “sensational” after the veteran goalkeeper played a crucial role in Juventus’ entertaining 2-1 win at AC Milan.
The Serie A champions moved a step closer to a fifth straight Scudetto with the win at San Siro after Mario Mandzukic and Paul Pogba struck in response to Alex’s header, which opened the scoring.
Juve were heavily indebted to 38-year-old Buffon, who made stunning double-saves in the each half. In the first, he brilliantly kept out Mario Balotelli’s free-kick before stopping Luca Antonelli from point-blank range on the rebound.
After the break, he denied Carlos Bacca before somehow tipping Balotelli’s follow-up onto the crossbar, impressing head coach Allegri.
“Buffon’s saves were sensational,” Allegri told reporters after the match.
“Credit to Milan for the way they played. They were unlucky to find a great Buffon blocking their path.
“I also compliment my own players, as we took a step forward. We didn’t start brilliantly but picked up after Milan went in front. As time wore on we kept the ball better and didn’t run any more risks.
“We had more control after Buffon’s block in the second half, but could have played better in some moments. It was a difficult match because it is never easy to win at San Siro.
“Milan have good players and it was important we not slow down our progress. Any side that wins 21 out of 22 rounds is clearly doing something extraordinary.”
Juve now sit nine points ahead of closest title rivals Napoli, who play Verona on Sunday in their game in hand.
“The victory is an important step in our hunt for a fifth consecutive Scudetto,” added Allegri. “We have now got time to rest up ahead of the three games in seven days that begin with Palermo.
“We have still got a long way to go until the Scudetto is won. It’s not over until it’s mathematically impossible for the teams below to catch us, so we need to keep going.”
Asked about Juve’s two second-half injury concerns, Allegri replied: “Kwadwo Asamoah took a knock to his knee and Alvaro Morata had a stomach complaint.”
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