Thursday, June 30, 2022

Juve´s late draw with Atalanta is an ´important point´, says Allegri

SoccerNews in Serie A 13 Feb 2022

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Despite their failure to pull away from Atalanta in the hunt for a Champions League qualification place, Massimiliano Allegri said Juventus’ 1-1 draw at the Gewiss Stadium was an “important point”.

Atalanta had looked to be on their way to a third consecutive top-flight win over the Bianconeri after Ruslan Malinovskiy’s stunning strike 14 minutes from time – the first goal Juve had conceded in 383 minutes in Serie A

Danilo ensured a share of the spoils, though, heading home two minutes into stoppage time to stretch Juve’s unbeaten run to 11 games since they lost the reverse fixture in November. 

The result meant Juve remained in fourth, two points ahead of their hosts, although La Dea do have a game in hand.

“It would’ve been disappointing to lose a game after playing so well,” Allegri told DAZN.

“We made mistakes in our finishing and the final ball. There were three minutes of terror just before half-time on the counter after we lost the ball cheaply and [Matthijs] De Ligt threw himself in the way twice.

“The second half was better. Atalanta were on the counter and Malinovskiy did well to win that free kick. It was an extraordinary goal and Danilo scored a great equaliser.

“[Weston] McKennie opened up a lot of spaces for [Paulo] Dybala and [Alvaro] Morata. The lads had some good triangles, the first chance was created by McKennie and Dybala, but there was a period where we got too crammed together and didn’t spread the play.

“Atalanta are very aggressive, so we had to move the ball quickly to get it behind them. It was a very entertaining game, we were losing 1-0 and risked defeat, but it is an important point.

“We wanted to win, but knew Atalanta were strong and so we’re happy to keep the unbeaten run going.”

Juve are nine points adrift of leaders Milan and Allegri insists his side are not in the title race.

“It was official before this,” he added. “There are too many points to claw back from three teams. We just try to improve our performances and we need to make a step forward when we have that final ball to turn a chance into a goal. That’s where we need to do better.

“I said in September that Inter would win. I still feel that they are the strongest squad, no disrespect to Milan and Napoli.

“Right now, Inter are stronger than Juve. We dropped too many points at the start of the season. If we had just four points more, we could’ve had some fun, but that’s not where we are.”

Juve are next in action on Friday when they host Torino in the Derby della Mole. 

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