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Del Piero aims at 200 after breaking record

Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero has set his sights on scoring 200 league goals for Juventus after becoming their outright top marksman of all time.

Del Piero bagged his 179th Serie A goal in the 2-1 defeat of AC Milan on Saturday night, his strike proving to be the winner.

In so doing he overtook Giampiero Boniperti’s previous mark of 178 Serie A strikes for the Old Lady of Turin — he had equalled the record on October 17 against Lecce.

“Now my aim is to arrive at 200 goals, you should always set yourself new objectives,” said Del Piero.

“These are special nights where the team celebrates. It’s always worth three points, nothing more, but there’s a special taste to winning at Milan.”

Del Piero, who turns 36 in just over a week, has been at Juve since 1993 but his current contract runs out at the end of the season.

He is remaining calm about the future with no guarantees that he will be offered a new one.

“It would be great to finish like this with a performance and a goal like this but I want to go on,” he said.

“I have a great relationship with the club, we’ll talk about (the contract) calmly, it’s not a priority.”

Given Juve’s injury problems, coach Luigi Delneri was understandably delighted with the result.

Already shorn of seven first teamers, he lost Giorgio Chiellini in the warm-up and both Paolo De Ceglie and Jorge Martinez during the game, forcing him to play right-winger Simone Pepe at left-back in the second half.

“I got the response from a group that works hard, those who don’t play are always committed and the results you can see on the pitch,” he said.

“I’m very happy with the performance of my players, as I’ve always said, Juve shouldn’t depend on one player but on how we play.

“At times we played well, at times we struggled but we fought for every ball and that’s vital to do well in the league.

“Our attitude was fantastic but we can’t be contented with that, we’ll keep progressing every Sunday but we’ve reclaimed an important position.”

Juventus moved up to fourth in Serie A, their highest position since the turn of the year when they gradually dropped down from second to last season’s seventh placed finish.

And Delneri believes they are even capable of challenging for the title.

“We want to be protagonists in the title race, we don’t set ourselves limits,” he said.

Fabio Quagliarella opened the scoring with a header from De Ceglie’s cross before Del Piero doubled the advantage by finishing crisply after Mohamed Sissoko had seemed to have wasted a glorious opportunity.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late header gave Milan hope but they could not find an equaliser.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri said that unlike their Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, they deserved better this time.

“Up until Juve took the lead they hadn’t even passed the halfway line once, they were just defending,” he complained.

“Maybe we rushed a bit too much in trying to stretch the game but we didn’t deserve to lose.

“In Madrid we deserved to lose but this time, no. We have to accept the defeat with serenity and I believe we’ll be fighting for the title right to the end.

Milan now sit third in Serie A, a point behind champions Inter Milan in second and a pair of points above Juventus in fourth.

Lazio still lead the scudetto race after their positive start to the season.

Sun 31 October, 2010
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