Friday, December 3, 2021

Allegri still angry over Juventus failings as Cuadrado strike sinks Fiorentina

SoccerNews in Serie A 6 Nov 2021

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Massimiliano Allegri insisted Juventus should remain angry about the points they have frittered away in Serie A this season after his team returned to winning ways in the competition.

After defeats to Sassuolo and Hellas Verona in their last two league games, Juventus came into the weekend as mid-table stragglers, the prospect of a Scudetto tilt almost already in tatters.

It would take something special from here to become involved in a title scrap, and a 1-0 win over Fiorentina, secured against 10 men by a stoppage-time Juan Cuadraro strike, was hardly the hallmark of a Juventus team on the up. Their first shot on target did not arrive until the 86th minute.

Yet a narrow home win might be a small step towards Juventus becoming a force again, with the three points being the pay-off for an intense week of training.

Head coach Allegri told DAZN: “Mentally we kept up well; this should make us happy for this victory, but very angry for the points left with Sassuolo, with Empoli, in Udine, in Verona.

“With a different mentality, with a different nastiness about our playing, we would have brought home some points, so we have to be happy, but also angry and not forget what we left behind us.

“If we had won against Sassuolo and Empoli we would be in an excellent position in the standings. We did not win, and we must do a mea culpa.”

Allegri’s second spell at Juventus could require abundant patience before reward arrives, unlike his previous tenure when he took over from Antonio Conte and continued the Turin giants’ dominance, landing the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Serie A titles amid a nine-year stretch of dominance.

This was Allegri’s 200th victory for the Bianconeri in all competitions, as he became just the third head coach to reach that mark with Juve since 1929-30 after Giovanni Trapattoni (319 victories) and Marcello Lippi (227). Until Nikola Milenkovic was sent off in the 73rd minute, however, Juventus were up against it.

“Victory boosts our morale and must raise the level of attention for the future even more,” Allegri said, quoted on the official Juventus website.

“The starting point for returning to being a team that aims for the top is simply running.

“We need availability and aggression: here we won all our tackles, against Sassuolo not even one.

“The difference is there, because then the team has quality. But we have to be a group on the pitch, which must not forget what we have left in the league so far.”

Cuadrado echoed Allegri’s assertion that it will be graft that moves this incarnation of Juventus in the right direction.

Juventus have now won 15 of the 16 Serie A matches in which the Colombian has found the net, drawing the other.

“I’m happy with the team’s performance,” Cuadrado said. “It was important to be ready, we must continue to grow and maintain this attitude in every match.

“Fiorentina played well, they forced us to defend, but defending well helps us to attack better.

“We are a very close team, a family, and this week has brought us together even more. We get up every morning with the desire to be at the top, but we don’t have to talk, just work.”

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