Juve fo­cus on AC Mi­lan af­ter slip-up against Man United

Gulf Times Sport - - FOOTBALL -

Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri urged Ju­ven­tus not to dwell on their slip-up against Manch­ester United but in­stead to use the Cham­pi­ons League drama to avoid a re­peat against AC Mi­lan in Serie A to­mor­row.

Ju­ven­tus lost to two late goals against the Pre­mier League club for their first de­feat of the sea­son, but will be de­ter­mined to ex­tend their un­beaten run in Serie A as they tar­get an eighth con­sec­u­tive league ti­tle.

The Ital­ian cham­pi­ons have 31 points from 11 games — six points ahead of In­ter Mi­lan and Napoli — with AC Mi­lan in fourth po­si­tion, a fur­ther four points adrift along with Lazio.

An­other ba­nana skin could await at the San Siro against Gen­naro Gat­tuso’s Mi­lan who have pulled off some late win­ners them­selves re­cently, with a 97th-minute goal seal­ing vic­tory over Udi­nese last week­end.

“No one ex­pects to win all games, but this kind of de­feat, es­pe­cially from a psy­cho­log­i­cal point of view, can upset us,” said Al­le­gri.

“But it will make us smarter and first up we have the match against AC Mi­lan.”

“I’m not wor­ried but we just need to be more ac­cu­rate in front of goal,” added the coach af­ter a se­ries of misses on Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing Cris­tiano Ron­aldo’s stun­ning vol­ley that put them in con­trol.

Al­le­gri’s side were the only Ital­ian team to lose in Eu­ro­pean foot­ball dur­ing the week.

In­ter Mi­lan held Barcelona 1-1, with Napoli draw­ing against Paris Saint-Ger­main by the same score­line, and Roma beat­ing CSKA Moscow 2-1.

Lazio booked their pas­sage to the knock­out rounds of the Europa League with a 2-1 win over Mar­seille with AC Mi­lan snatch­ing a point at Real Betis.

“Now we’ve got two and a half hours to fly back and do some work on the plane,” said Gat­tuso.

“Ju­ven­tus are one of the best sides in Eu­rope, not just in Italy, but we won’t sit here cry­ing. We’ll face them and play our foot­ball.”

Both sides have in­jury prob­lems with Mi­lan mid­fielder Lu­cas Biglia out for four months af­ter surgery on a calf mus­cle tear. Their top-scorer Gon­zalo Higuain went off with a back twinge against Udi­nese but is ex­pected to re­turn against his par­ent club af­ter join­ing Mi­lan on loan from Juve in the close sea­son.

In­ter, mean­while, travel to Ata­lanta, with Napoli, who are be­hind Lu­ciano Spal­letti’s side on goal dif­fer­ence, trav­el­ling to Genoa to­day.

Both In­ter and Napoli scored five goals in their wins last week­end, and will be keen to keep the pres­sure on Ju­ven­tus be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break.

Napoli are still with­out Si­mone Verdi, but Dries Mertens — who scored a hat-trick against Em­poli — has re­cov­ered from a shoul­der prob­lem picked up against PSG.

Lazio travel to Sas­suolo eye­ing a move into the top four and the Cham­pi­ons League spots.

City ri­vals Roma are down in ninth, and want to start to climb the ta­ble against Sam­p­do­ria af­ter tak­ing just two points from their last three games.

Fix­tures (all times GMT)

To­day: Torino v Parma (1400), SPAL v Cagliari (1700), Genoa v Napoli (1930)

To­mor­row: Ata­lanta v In­ter (1130), Em­poli v Udi­nese, Chievo v Bologna, Roma v Sam­p­do­ria (1400), Sas­suolo v Lazio (1600), AC Mi­lan v Ju­ven­tus (1930)

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