Massimiliano Allegri insists Juve are building up to Atletico Madrid showdown

Posted Monday, February 25, 2019 by PA

Massimiliano Allegri insists Juve are building up to Atletico Madrid showdown

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri quickly focused on the return leg of his side’s Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid after their 1-0 win at Bologna.

Paulo Dybala stepped off the bench to fire the game’s only goal against lowly Bologna midway through the second half as Juventus maintained their stranglehold on Serie A.

Juve bounced back from their 2-0 midweek defeat to Atletico by securing their 22nd win from 25 league games this season.

They maintained their huge advantage over second-placed Napoli, but Allegri already has one eye on Atletico’s visit to Turin on March 12.

“There was some hangover after Wednesday,” Allegri told a post-match press conference. “It was important to win in order for us to keep the advantage over Napoli the same.

“We are working hard for the return match against Atletico, we want to get Douglas Costa back and come into the game at the highest level, but the match will also require some luck.

“They will be even more hard to break down and we will have to be quick in our play and precise in our passing, something that was missing today.

“On March 12 we will be in the best possible condition, but we must still continue to grow.”

Allegri confirmed Miralem Pjanic missed the Bologna game through illness, while Germany midfielder Sami Khedira is sidelined having been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.

“But (Leonardo) Bonucci and (Giorgio) Chiellini are back. I’m optimistic over the return leg. You have to slowly build the side up,” added Allegri, whose side extended their unbeaten league run this season to 25 matches.

“Today was a part of the puzzle, and on March 12 we will need to come into the game without adrenaline sky high.”

Bologna remain third from bottom, three points from safety after winning just once this year.

But coach Sinisa Mihajlovic felt his side’s display was worthy of at least a point and remains confident they will soon move clear of relegation trouble.

“Another great performance and once again zero points,” said the former Sampdoria and Lazio defender.

“We played a great game, in some moments above Juventus, (and it is) really bad.

“Now we will face teams at our level and will serve the same anger, while maintaining the serenity and the ability to continue working as we are doing.

“If we continue to play like this I am convinced that we will avoid relegation.”




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