Juventus keen to put Man United defeat behind them
MASSIMILIANO Allegri has called on Juventus to bounce back swiftly from their first defeat of the season as they prepare to face AC Milan, reports.
The Bianconeri were beaten for the first time since April as Manchester United scored two late goals to turn a dramatic Champions League contest on its head.
Yet head coach Allegri is keen not to spend too much time mulling over the loss, with another crunch clash against old foes Milan in Serie A on Sunday.
“We have to keep doing what we are already doing,” Allegri told a pre-match news conference. “We were upset on Wednesday as we are not used to losing, it had not happened since April.
“But we lost a game that might be less important in terms of the group and now it is Milan against Juventus. every once in a while, a step backwards can help you move two forward.
“They are always balanced matches (against Milan) and San Siro will push the Rossoneri on. It will be a technical and physical match, with Milan in great form.”
Gonzalo Higuain left Juventus for Milan in the close-season and Allegri, while a great admirer of the Argentina international, has no regrets.
“Higuain is a player who has given so much to Juventus, who was so decisive in our victories,” he said. “Decisions were made on both sides and Milan made a great signing. He is one of the best strikers in the world.”
Allegri is now hopeful a change of approach will see Cristiano ronaldo thrive in Higuain’s absence.
The coach added, “This year we have scored less goals but conceded less. We are only in November; there are still seven months until the end of the season but we are on the right track.
“It will be nice to see Higuain again – he was important for us – but we have Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the best striker in the world. We have to work to his strengths.”
CHELSEA midfielder Ross Barkley is braced for a hostile reception when his old club Everton visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday,
Barkley left Everton to join Chelsea in January after 13 years at Goodison Park and this weekend faces the Toffees for the first time since that controversial move.
The 24-year-old did not play for Everton in the last seven months of his time on Merseyside due to a hamstring problem and eventually moved to Chelsea in a cut-price £15m ($19m) deal.
With his contract winding down, Barkley had initially been linked with Tottenham before the Chelsea switch and his desire to further his career away from Everton, combined with the protracted nature of the transfer, soured his time with Toffees fans.
Barkley expects those Everton supporters to make their feelings known when he comes face to face with them in west London, but although he admits it will be a “strange” experience he is determined not to be intimidated.
“I don’t think the reception will be the best,” Barkley told the evening standard.
“I’m not nervous, I’m excited to play against my former club and team-mates. I understand how some of them play, so that could be an advantage for me.
“on the day I might get a few nerves as it will feel a bit strange. I’m looking forward to catching up with some of the staff there who I used to get on really well with.”
After struggling to break into the Chelsea team under previous boss Antonio Conte last season, Barkley has impressed new manager Maurizio Sarri.
The england international has become a regular under sarri, scoring three goals in his last five Chelsea appearances.
“I was approaching 25 and I felt looking back I could have improved a lot more (at Everton),” Barkley said.
“At Chelsea, I knew I’d improve a lot quicker around better players, world-class players.”