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Every word from Allegri’s post-Empoli press conference: Concerns about Pogba’s injury, tactical changes and Scudetto race

Max Statman



Photo by Getty Images

In a candid post-match interview, Juventus coach Max Allegri shared insights into the team’s performance, including concerns about Paul Pogba’s injury, tactical changes, and the Scudetto race.

The match against Empoli saw a stellar performance from Juventus, but it wasn’t without its concerns. At the final whistle, Paul Pogba appeared to be nursing an injury.

Allegri addressed this issue with caution, stating, “We don’t know anything yet, he felt a twinge at the back, so we’ll see what the tests say. He came on and showed quality for half an hour.” The uncertainty surrounding Pogba’s injury remains a point of concern for the team.

In the quest to make amends for the previous week’s controversial draw with Bologna, Allegri opted for more changes in the starting lineup. These changes paid off, with Danilo and Federico Chiesa delivering standout performances. Allegri acknowledged the need for improvement, particularly in the final third, where the team sometimes appeared too frenetic.

Allegri stated, “It was a good performance against an Empoli side that is not easy to play against. We allowed practically nothing at the back, but need to be calmer in the final third or with the final ball, as we were a bit too frenetic. These are things we will improve as time goes on.”

Allegri also addressed his decision to shuffle the squad, bringing in Filip Kostic and Weston McKennie. Explaining Timothy Weah’s absence from the starting lineup, Allegri stated, “Weah was a little tired, while he was also coming into a far more tactical league than he is accustomed to, so I felt he needed a bit of rest.” The coach emphasized the importance of having impactful substitutes who can change the game.

The coach also touched upon the ongoing development of the partnership between Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa upfront. While there’s room for improvement, Allegri expressed satisfaction with their progress, highlighting Vlahovic’s better performance compared to the previous game.

Allegri said, “Their rapport is growing, I am happy that Federico scored and sad that Vlahovic didn’t convert the penalty. However, I thought this was a better performance from Vlahovic than last time when he did score. We need everyone and must keep the tempo as high as possible to cause problems for the opposition.”

The coach emphasized the need for better cohesion among midfielders and forwards. Playing against a high-defense team like Empoli requires precise timing and passing accuracy. Allegri praised Manuel Locatelli’s performance and noted areas of improvement for Stefano Miretti.

Allegri said, “The midfielders and forwards are also working on getting to know each other better. When you play against a high defence like Empoli, you need to pick the right timing for the passes and make them precise. Locatelli did very well today. Miretti plays well between the lines, but must improve in passing the ball quickly and going for goal more often. We are working towards reaching full fitness from October and November so that we can start really pushing hard.”

Despite a convincing victory, Allegri remained cautious about Juventus’ Scudetto aspirations. He mentioned that other teams like Inter, Napoli, and Milan are better equipped and considered stronger contenders. Juventus’ aim is to secure a top-four finish, and Allegri acknowledges that unexpected twists in the Scudetto race can occur but refrains from claiming favorites status.

Allegri said, “Nobody likes being outside of the Champions League. We finished third in the table, so it’s easy to say that Juve failed last season, but without the points penalty we were third. There are teams out there better equipped to win the Scudetto, such as Inter, Napoli and Milan. We must do well to stay as close to them as possible and finish in the top four. Things might happen and we find ourselves in the Scudetto race, but you cannot say we are among the favourites.”

Allegri’s philosophy about football being a simple game and his emphasis on adapting strategies to the available players sparked a discussion.

He defended this approach, stating, “The intelligence of a coach is to understand the players at his disposal. You cannot try to use a gun against a tank, you need to find a different strategy.”

Allegri continued, “This season we have players who don’t have as much experience, but they do have legs. As Ariedo Braida used to say, it is not an obligation to run in football, but it helps. I don’t want to say it’s very simple, because I know people don’t like that, but I will say the simplest things on paper are usually the most difficult.”

Match Coverages

Match preview: Juventus v Lecce – Redemption beckons for the bianconeri

Max Statman



After a stunning defeat last weekend, Juventus is eager to regain their momentum on Tuesday evening when they host the Serie A high-flyers, Lecce, at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.

Juventus makes their way back to their home ground, licking their wounds after suffering a shocking loss to Sassuolo that ended their unbeaten streak.

In contrast, their southern opponents, Lecce, have been a force to be reckoned with, boasting three wins from five matches and remaining undefeated.

Before their unfortunate downfall in Sassuolo, Juventus appeared to be on the path to a promising season start that could potentially put them back in the Scudetto contention after several years of decline.

However, the manner in which they crumbled, including a bizarre own goal by Federico Gatti during second-half stoppage time, has raised concerns for head coach Max Allegri.

Probable lineup and team news

With a crucial match ahead against Atalanta on the weekend, Juventus can’t afford to underestimate Lecce. Max Allegri’s rotation may be relatively limited on Tuesday, with Tim Weah expected to feature on the right flank.

Arkadiusz Milik and Nicolo Fagioli are pushing hard for a spot in the starting lineup. Unfortunately, injuries continue to sideline defensive duo Alex Sandro and Mattia De Sciglio, while Paul Pogba is dealing with a doping case, and Moise Kean’s availability remains uncertain.

Dušan Vlahović, meanwhile, is also expected to start from. the bench as a precaution.

Juventus pobable starting XI: Szczesny; Rugani, Bremer, Danilo; Weah, Fagioli, Locatelli, Rabiot, Cambiaso; Milik, Chiesa.

Key players to watch

Federico Chiesa, in stellar form with four goals in his first five matches, is expected to lead Juventus’ attacking charge. Going up against Lecce’s rock-solid defense, which has conceded just four goals in five games, will be a stern test for the Italian striker.

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Match Coverages

Match report: Sassuolo triumphs over Juventus in thrilling 4-2 encounter

Max Statman



In a highly anticipated Serie A showdown, Sassuolo hosted Juventus, resulting in a remarkable 4-2 victory for the home side. The match, although not destined for football history, was a rollercoaster of emotions that showcased the unpredictability of the sport.

The contest began with both teams displaying intent and attacking prowess. However, it was Sassuolo’s Armand Laurienté who drew first blood. His right-footed strike from the edge of the area found its way past Wojciech Szczesny, who appeared caught off guard. This early setback put Juventus on the back foot.

Undeterred by the early deficit, Juventus fought their way back into the game. A stroke of luck came their way when Matias Vina, Sassuolo’s defender, inadvertently deflected a Federico Chiesa cross into his own net, leveling the score at 1-1. This fortunate turn of events breathed new life into the Bianconeri.

Domenico Berardi, celebrating his 300th Serie A appearance, had a night to remember. The Sassuolo captain marked the occasion with an outstanding goal, sweeping the ball into the far bottom corner with finesse. It was a fitting tribute to his career with the Neroverdi.

With the match hanging in the balance, Federico Chiesa emerged as Juventus’ savior. His first-time strike from 14 yards, aided by a slight deflection, beat the goalkeeper at the near post. Chiesa’s goal leveled the score once more at 2-2, setting the stage for a thrilling conclusion.

Sassuolo refused to back down and seized the lead once again. Matheus Henrique’s brilliant playmaking set up Domenico Berardi for his second goal of the match. However, the real twist came when Andrea Pinamonti capitalized on Szczesny’s fumble, heading the ball into the net to give Sassuolo a 3-2 lead.

In an unforgettable turn of events, Fabio Gatti added a bizarre chapter to the match. Under pressure from Matheus Henrique, Gatti calmly passed the ball into his own empty net, sealing Sassuolo’s 4-2 triumph. It was a moment that left both teams and fans in disbelief.

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Match Coverages

Max Allegri talks the match against Sassuolo, injury updates, this season ambitions and more

Max Statman



Juventus head coach Max Allegri held a comprehensive press conference today, addressing various aspects of the team’s current situation and their upcoming match against Sassuolo.

With a mix of tactical insights, player updates, and a focus on the team’s ambitions, Allegri gave an intriguing glimpse into the mindset of the club.

Allegri began by emphasizing the importance of maintaining focus despite early-season success, saying, “Tomorrow, we’ll need to stay alert; there’s too much euphoria. It’s nice, but it risks taking away our focus. We’re only in the fifth match; we need calmness.”

He continued by discussing the squad’s composition, especially with younger talents, noting, “The responsibilities when playing for Juventus belong to everyone, not just the young players. It’s normal to expect some mistakes due to inexperience from the younger ones, but fortunately, we have a group of experienced players who help and encourage them. All our young talents are growing, and that’s important.”

Allegri also addressed the team’s pursuit of Champions League qualification, emphasizing the significance of this goal, both economically and for sporting ambitions: “This year, we don’t have any cups, but it’s crucial to qualify for the Champions League next year, both for financial reasons and sporting ambitions.”

The coach elaborated on the team’s playing style, commenting, “Our style of play? As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a matter of the squad’s composition. This year, we’ve lost some experience but gained enthusiasm and dynamism.”

In terms of upcoming matches, Allegri acknowledged the tight schedule, mentioning the game against Lecce on Tuesday and the need to manage the squad effectively: “On Tuesday, there’s a game with only three days in between, which won’t happen often this year. For now, we focus on tomorrow, and then tomorrow night, we’ll think about Tuesday.”

When asked about individual players, Allegri provided updates, including Vlahovic and Chiesa’s availability, as well as Huijsen’s inclusion due to Alex Sandro’s absence: “Vlahovic and Chiesa had some minor issues, but they are fully available. Huijsen will be with us from now on because Alex Sandro will be out for quite some time.”

Allegri also commented on the visit from Spalletti, showing his commitment to assisting players in reaching the national team: “Spalletti’s visit was very pleasing to me. We are available to ensure that our players are in the best position to represent the national team and perform well.”

The press conference concluded with Allegri emphasizing the importance of balance and consistency: “The strength of a team and a club lies in having balance. Results are achieved through balance. A win or a loss should not sway us.”

Allegri’s words reflect a determined and focused Juventus side as they prepare for their clash against Sassuolo. The coach’s careful management and emphasis on the team’s long-term goals set the tone for the upcoming matches in their quest for Champions League qualification.

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