Allegri: ‘Spirit as important as tactics and technique’

Max Allegri believes Juventus rediscovered their mentality and approach after squeezing past Lazio in the Coppa Italia quarter-final. ‘The lads realised spirit is just as important as tactics and technique.’

The Bianconeri needed only one goal to decide this fixture, as Luis Maximiano completely mis-timed his rush off the line, allowing Gleison Bremer to nod in the Filip Kostic cross from the right.

Although the Aquile held possession for long periods, they barely ever troubled Mattia Perin.

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“This evening was a good performance, especially in the first half, as Lazio had more of the ball after the break, but we allowed them very little. The most important thing was the attitude, which we certainly did not have in the first half against Monza. We conceded avoidable goals there and that made us reflect,” Allegri told Sport Mediaset.

“These are grown-up lads, they are responsible and know that spirit is just as important as tactics and technique. We were organised, played with patience and resisted the strong Lazio press this evening.”

While Maurizio Sarri’s men made little impact upfront, it’s also safe to say that Juve didn’t exactly have many scoring opportunities either.

“Playing against Lazio is not easy, especially as they become very dangerous when moving the ball around quickly. Instead, we slowed them down in the second half and did really well intercepting the passing channels. The only strong player they had in the air was Milinkovic-Savic and we did well to defend on the crosses for him too.”

This was a return to what Allegri called the ‘corto muso’ – winning by a nose – which they mastered during the run of eight consecutive Serie A wins with clean sheets.

“Lazio dominated possession after the break and we were very dangerous on the counter-attack. We were coming off a defeat to Monza, it was not an easy situation, so once we took the lead we felt more confident. We have now laid some good foundations to get back on track in Serie A too,” added the coach.

“Locatelli had a fantastic game, he is becoming a real example for the others with his heart, mentality and the way he faces games. He is a player with the Juventus DNA inside him, he never holds back. Chiesa and Vlahovic did some good things, some less so, Cuadrado came back too, so everyone had a good attitude.

“The most important thing is that we must never let go, whereas in the first half against Monza, we let go.”

It means that Juve will face Inter in the Coppa Italia semi-final, which will be played over two legs in April, while the other showdown is between Fiorentina and Cremonese.

This is a repeat of last season’s Coppa Italia Final, but also the Supercoppa Italiana, both of which saw Inter emerge winners in extra time.

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