Juventus coach Max Allegri explains his tactical decisions in the 1-1 draw with Inter, seeing it as ‘a good point’ to earn in the Scudetto race.
The Old Lady was able to leave San Siro with a point thanks to the late Paulo Dybala penalty, awarded using VAR for a high Denzel Dumfries foot on Alex Sandro.
Inter had taken an early lead through Edin Dzeko, reacting on the rebound from a Hakan Calhanoglu effort, but the hosts tried to protect their lead and sat increasingly deep as the game wore on.
“The first half performance was good, the second even better. We had a few chances that we should’ve done better with, then we pushed up with more confidence against a very good Inter,” Allegri told DAZN.
“Let’s not forget the Nerazzurri are strong technically and physically, so we needed a performance like this. We were a little too frantic at the start in the press, but that too is another stage in the growth process.”
This result means Juve are now 10 points off joint leaders Napoli and Milan after just nine rounds.
“It’s a good point, it keeps us within three points of Inter and allows us to continue this positive run of results, while we have the opportunity to close up on the leading pack before the break for international duty.”
Allegri was asked about his surprising tactical choices, mirroring Inzaghi’s 3-5-2 and leaving Federico Chiesa and Matthijs de Ligt on the bench, in favour of Dejan Kulusevski and Giorgio Chiellini.
“I knew it could be quite a physical game to start with, so I needed someone like Kulusevski to put more pressure on Brozovic. As the tempo dropped, I put on Dybala and Chiesa, the confidence was growing too. It’s a good point, but now we absolutely must win on Wednesday against Sassuolo.”
Inter scored the goal when Juve were a man down, as Federico Bernardeschi was on the sidelines after dislocating his shoulder and urged them to wait before making the substitution.
“It was just a coincidence. Even down to 10 men, we could’ve avoided conceding that goal, it was quite fortuitous. It was a hard-fought game, very physical, we need to finish our moves better because when the ball goes into the penalty area, we have to finish the chance.”
After a run of 1-0 victories in Serie A and the Champions League, did going behind leave Juventus struggling to be more attack-minded?
“We dropped eight out of nine points in the opening three rounds, so we had to start again from the foundations. The foundations are organisation and a solid defence. We needed to build from that first, then we’ve been moving more forward, a bit more, and in time with more confidence, we will be more attacking.
“We had kept four straight clean sheets, so that was progress, today we allowed Inter very few chances. The problem is that everyone has to be aggressive, from the forwards to the defenders, otherwise the team struggles.”
There was a curious moment when Kaio Jorge came on as a late substitute, as he handed Leonardo Bonucci a note, which the defender then tucked into his socks.
“I didn’t write it, that was my assistant! It was about set plays and that’s Landucci’s territory. Maybe that’s why he keeps telling me to delay substitutions, so he can write…”