Get feet on the ground Juve, or­ders Al­le­gri

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

COACH Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri or­dered Ju­ven­tus to get their feet on the ground af­ter a chas­ten­ing 2-1 ‘Derby d’Italia’ de­feat to In­ter Mi­lan came hot on the heels of a stale Cham­pi­ons League draw with Sevilla.

Ju­ven­tus trav­elled to the San Siro look­ing to make amends af­ter a goal­less stale­mate against the Europa League cham­pi­ons in Turin on Wed­nes­day.

But the Bian­coneri were left scratch­ing their heads af­ter Mauro Icardi lev­elled Stephan Lich­steiner’s 66th minute opener only two min­utes later, beat­ing Gian­luigi Buf­fon for the sev­enth time in their past eight meet­ings.

Al­le­gri re­placed mis­fir­ing striker Mario Mandzu­kic with Ar­gen­tinian Gon­zalo Higuain, but 12 min­utes from time Icardi turned provider for Croa­tia star Ivan Perisic to head a su­perb win­ner past Buf­fon and se­cure a morale-boost­ing win for In­ter’s em­bat­tled Dutch coach Frank De Boer.

It was Ju­ven­tus’s first re­verse of the sea­son and the first time In­ter had beaten the Bi­a­coneri at home since the Jose Mour­inho’s tre­ble-win­ning sea­son in 2010.

Napoli sit top with a one-point lead on the cham­pi­ons and for the sec­ond time this week, Al­le­gri was riled.

“This de­feat will sting us, but it should also help us get our feet back on the ground,” Al­le­gri told Sky Sport.

The 49-year-old had warned af­ter the Sevilla game that the “eu­pho­ria” sur­round­ing Ju­ven­tus’s hopes of suc­cess at home and in Europe this sea­son could eas­ily turn to “dis­ap­point­ment”.

Another shaky per­for­mance from the Serie A cham­pi­ons yes­ter­day left Al­le­gri call­ing for im­prove­ments.

“It was quite a messy, tough game to­day. But once we got in front, we should have tried to de­fend our lead till the end. We need to be more clin­i­cal, and fight more if we are to win games,” added Al­le­gri.

Napoli, fresh from a come-frombe­hind win over Di­namo Kiev in their Cham­pi­ons League opener in mid­week, go clear of the pack for the first time this sea­son and once again they had Pol­ish striker Arkaduisz Mi­lik to thank.

Af­ter hit­ting a brace in mid­week, the 22-year-old struck twice again in a 3-1 win over Bologna on Satur­day.

In­ter’s hopes of fi­nally chal­leng­ing for a first ti­tle since 2010 could hinge on how they fare against in­fe­rior op­po­si­tion – they suf­fered a 2-0 de­feat at Chievo on their opener and were then held 1-1 at home by Palermo.

AC Mi­lan’s pre­cious 1-0 win at Sam­p­do­ria on Fri­day meant it was a happy week­end for fans in the Lom­bardy cap­i­tal, but it wasn’t for the Gial­lorossi fans of the cap­i­tal.

Roma huffed and puffed their way to a 1-0 de­feat to Fiorentina, who had Mi­lan Badelj’s late win­ner – that caught Wo­j­ciech Szczesny out af­ter go­ing through Nikola Kalinic’s legs – to thank for a win that gave their bid a huge boost.

Paulo Sousa’s men are now up to eighth at four points be­hind Napoli, al­though Fiorentina would pos­si­bly be sec­ond if their game last week at Genoa had not been rained off. – AFP

Al­le­gri

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