Allegri: Qualifying for Champions League after points deduction 'like winning three titles'

By Sports Desk March 04, 2023

Massimiliano Allegri believes Juventus qualifying for the Champions League after being deducted 15 points would be akin to winning three Serie A titles.

Juve have earned 50 points this season, which would be enough to have them second in the table had they not been punished for past financial dealings.

Instead, they are back on 35 points, 12 points outside the Champions League places in seventh.

That remains the Bianconeri's unlikely aim, but Allegri was keen to outline just how difficult their task is ahead of Sunday's game at fifth-placed Roma.

"Perhaps my words have been misrepresented," Allegri said. "I said that the Champions League chase is an impossible, difficult thing.

"That said, the team at the moment has made 50 points. On the field, we are doing well and we must continue.

"Even among those in front, one will miss out between Inter, Milan, Lazio and Roma. One is left outside, and there is also Atalanta still behind who have the possibility to return.

"There are 42 points at stake, right? Everything is still to be played, so we have to take one step at a time. We can't look too far ahead, and we have to work for 'mini' goals."

However, Allegri was then asked what the scale of that achievement would be. Is it similar to winning a Scudetto?

"Going with minus-15 into the Champions League is not like winning a Scudetto," he replied. "It would be like winning three."

Juve have won six of their past seven away Serie A games and three of their last four league matches against Roma.

The Giallorossi face being without Jose Mourinho following a suspension due to his red card in their previous game.

But Allegri said: "I would be sorry if he wasn't there. I hope to see him on the pitch.

"In my opinion, once the coach is thrown out of the game, you can give him a fine, then the next time he has to be on the bench. With fines, you can maybe help those in need."

Related items

  • Eddie Howe: Joelinton leaving Newcastle for free would have been ‘bad business’ Eddie Howe: Joelinton leaving Newcastle for free would have been ‘bad business’

    Eddie Howe admits Newcastle could not afford to allow “gentle giant” Joelinton to leave on a free transfer after they finally persuaded him to sign a new contract.

    The 27-year-old Brazil international put pen to paper on a long-term deal on Thursday to end fears that he could leave the Magpies for nothing next summer despite becoming one of their most important players.

    Ultimately, the two parties managed to reach agreement over a man whose value on and off the pitch had increased substantially during his time on Tyneside, although head coach Howe knows the financial implications of doing so may impact on his summer business as the club attempts to comply with profit and sustainability limits.

    Howe said: “Of course something like this will have ramifications. You’re potentially lifting wages and that has an impact on your Financial Fair Play sheet.

    “But the alternative is that Joe leaves on a free transfer, which for a player of his quality, would be really bad business from us.

    “I think what has happened has alleviated that problem. But of course it maybe gives you problems elsewhere that you need to fix.”

    Whatever the financial fall-out from tying up Joelinton’s future, the football reasons for doing so are obvious.

    Under head coach Howe, a man who had been branded a flop following his then club record £40million switch from Hoffenheim as a striker during the summer of 2019, has established himself as a midfielder destroyer who played a key role in last season’s top-four Premier League finish.

    He is currently working his way back from thigh tendon surgery – he may or may not play again before the end of the current campaign – and his absence has been particularly telling.

    Securing the popular Brazilian at a time when interest in Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak is mounting sends a message, Howe believes, that the club’s ambition remains intact.

    He said: “It helps with the perception of our ambition and that we’re still desperate to grow and improve. For me, to do that you have to try to keep your best players, you have to try to create something that everyone wants to be part of.”

    Howe thrust Joelinton into a midfield role after defender Ciaran Clark’s dismissal just nine minutes into a 1-1 draw with Norwich in his third game at the helm in November 2021, and he has not looked back since, building himself a reputation as a snarling enforcer, something far removed from his off-field character.

    Howe said: “For the size and stature that he is and how aggressive he is on the pitch, he is a soft, gentle giant off it.”

    Joelinton will be a frustrated bystander once again as the Magpies entertain Tottenham on Saturday hoping for a repeat of the corresponding fixture in April last year when they raced into a 5-0 lead after just 21 minutes before running out 6-1 winners.

    Asked if he had been able to relax during that game, Howe, who has doubts over Lewis Hall and Joe Willock, said with a smile: “Let me tell you, I didn’t feel like that, not even for a second. Not when you’ve got Harry Kane on the other team.

    “He then scores and you start looking at how long is left.”

  • Alexander Nubel signs new Bayern Munich deal and extends Stuttgart loan Alexander Nubel signs new Bayern Munich deal and extends Stuttgart loan

    Alexander Nubel has signed a new long-term contract with Bayern Munich and has agreed to stay on loan at Stuttgart for the next two years.

    The 27-year-old goalkeeper joined Bayern from Schalke in 2020 and has spent this season on loan with Stuttgart, who are third in the Bundesliga and level on points with Nubel’s parent club.

    Bayern said on their official website: “Alexander Nubel has extended his contract at FC Bayern by a further four years to 30 June 2029, with his original deal set to run until summer 2025.

    “An agreement has also been reached with VfB Stuttgart that he will remain there on loan for another two seasons.”

    Nubel made four senior appearances for Bayern before spending two seasons on loan in France with Monaco and this season established himself as first choice at Stuttgart.

    “I’m very happy about this decision and the trust that FC Bayern has shown in me,” Nubel said. “At the same time, I feel very good in Stuttgart. I want to enjoy success with VfB and take my next steps personally.”

  • How Atalanta’s Anfield humbling compares in Jurgen Klopp’s tenure at Liverpool How Atalanta’s Anfield humbling compares in Jurgen Klopp’s tenure at Liverpool

    Jurgen Klopp was left to reflect on “a low point” for Liverpool after Atalanta inflicted one of the heaviest defeats of his reign in Thursday’s Europa League clash.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at how the Serie A side’s 3-0 romp compares to Klopp’s worst games with the club.

    Low point

    Gianluca Scamacca’s double and Mario Pasalic’s late strike gave Atalanta a 3-0 win in the first leg of their quarter-final, denting Klopp’s bid to add an eighth different trophy to his Anfield honours roll and end his reign with a showpiece final in Dublin.

    Only Manchester City and Aston Villa have ever enjoyed bigger winning margins against Klopp’s Liverpool, across his 483 games since taking charge in October 2015.

    City beat their perennial title rivals 5-0 on the way to the 2017-18 crown, Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane scoring twice apiece, and then 4-0 in a futile attempt to stop Klopp’s men romping to their Covid-delayed 2019-20 win.

    Villa beat a much-changed Liverpool side 5-0 in the Carabao Cup in December 2019 – a defence of Ki-Jana Hoever, Tony Gallacher, Sepp van den Berg and Morgan Boyes powerless to prevent Jonathan Kodjia scoring his only two goals of that season.

    More memorably, Ollie Watkins’ hat-trick and a Jack Grealish brace set up a 7-2 league triumph against Klopp’s defending champions in October 2020.

    Anfield nightmare

    The common thread between those four hammerings is that they all took place away from Anfield, meaning Gian Piero Gasperini’s side inflicted a record-equalling home defeat on Klopp with Liverpool.

    It is the 11th time his side have lost by three goals – a sixth 3-0, to go with four 4-1s and a 5-2 – but only the third at home.

    City triumphed 4-1 in 2021, Ilkay Gundogan scoring twice, while last season’s Champions League challenge was effectively ended by that 5-2 defeat in the first leg of their last-16 tie against Real Madrid. Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool an early 2-0 lead but Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema scored twice apiece in Real’s emphatic comeback.

    City are also among the teams to inflict three-goal away defeats on Klopp’s side, a list that curiously includes Watford on two separate occasions along with Tottenham, Brighton and Wolves in the Premier League and Barcelona and Napoli in the Champions League.

    Liverpool’s heaviest ever home defeat is only 6-0, against Sunderland in the First Division in April 1930.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.