Thursday, March 21, 2019

Allegri hails Dybala after Juventus star ends goal drought

SoccerNews in Serie A 15 Feb 2019

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Massimiliano Allegri was delighted to see Paulo Dybala end his Serie A goal drought with a stunning strike in Friday’s 3-0 win over Frosinone.

The Argentina forward blasted home from 25 yards after just six minutes of the game at the Allianz Stadium, before Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo rounded off a routine win.

It was Dybala’s first league goal since the 3-1 defeat of Cagliari on November 3 and just his eighth in 29 appearances in all competitions.

Allegri, though, says the 25-year-old’s all-round performances have been hugely important to Juve, even if his goalscoring has been limited by playing behind Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic.

“I’m happy for Paulo. He scored a good goal and forwards live for that,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

“We need a player who works between the lines, even more so this year as we play with two strikers as well as him.

“This has maybe limited him a little in terms of finishing, but not in terms of the matches and his performances.”

Juve’s win stretched their lead at the top of the table to 14 points, having played a game more than Napoli, and ensured they head to Spain for Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg with Atletico Madrid in positive spirits.

Allegri is eager for them to get at least an away goal at the Wanda Metropolitano if they are to have hope of reaching the quarter-finals.

“The team is growing physically. We struggled a bit after the break but we’re now ready to face this important moment of the season, both in the league and the Champions League,” he said.

“It’ll be a different game in Madrid. We will have to pay great attention and go there with the aim of scoring, otherwise going through will be tough.”

Mauro Icardi has been dominating headlines this week, having been stripped of the Inter captaincy in a decision described by sporting director Piero Ausilio as being “for the good of the club”.

When it was suggested to Allegri that he could try to bring the striker to Turin, he was not prepared to go into detail about the club’s transfer plans.

“I don’t know anything about the market. I prefer to go to the beach in the summer! The club takes care of the players and makes them available,” he said.

“Icardi is a forward who can score goals, but I leave the assessments to [Inter boss Luciano] Spalletti, who coaches him and knows him better.”

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