Allegri hits back at Juve critics after Cagliari comeback

By Sports Desk April 09, 2022

Massimiliano Allegri launched an impassioned defence of his Juventus side after they came from a goal down to beat Cagliari 2-1 in Serie A.

Juve have come in for heavy criticism of late following their Champions League elimination at the hands of Villarreal and their Derby d'Italia loss to Inter last week.

But Allegri, who saw his side move within five points of Serie A leaders Milan with a hard-fought victory in Sardinia, believes such critics are overly focused on results.

"I don't like losing, so I prefer criticism when we play badly, but still win. Nobody remembers the performance last Sunday, they only remember Inter marching towards the Scudetto, not how anybody played," Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

"You never know, they might transform tonight's game too. The comical thing is that you in the media are always going on about beautiful football, but are also the first to focus only on the result!

"I was told that until the 75th minute against Villarreal, all the websites and social media were praising the Juventus performance. Once we conceded, Juventus were called a disaster.

"That doesn't make sense. The performance remains the same, the only thing that changed was the result. I enjoy myself hearing the criticism, but every now and then some go a bit over the top and that irritates me.

"It's not just about us, but football in general. I hope in future years people will return to talking about the ABC of football, like the first touch, shaking off your marker, etc. Italy won the World Cup four times, we have our style, but for 15 years we've been chasing after Pep Guardiola's style and didn't realise he’s changed as well."

Goals from Matthijs de Light and Dusan Vlahovic, who netted a fortuitous 75th-minute winner, earned Juve all three points after Joao Pedro gave Cagliari a surprise early lead.

Milan and Napoli, who along with Inter are a point adrift of the Rossoneri, both play on Sunday against Torino and Fiorentina respectively.

And Allegri continues to reject talk of a late Scudetto push for Juve.

"We lost a head-to-head with Inter that would've allowed us to have Scudetto ambitions," he added. "We need to be realistic. I continue to maintain Inter are the favourites, especially with their fixture list.

"Naturally, it's going to shake a team when you chase down the light at the end of the tunnel for 16 games and then it vanishes. That is why this was a very risky match, especially with players injured and suspended.

"We needed to win this evening to consolidate fourth place, reaching the final two rounds with a good advantage."

Related items

  • Lille president denies contact with PSG for Sanches Lille president denies contact with PSG for Sanches

    Lille president Oliver Letang has denied there have been discussions with Paris Saint-Germain regarding Renato Sanches.

    The 24-year-old Portugal international has been heavily linked with a move to the French capital as he is poised to enter the final 12 months of his contract.

    Reports have suggested Sanches is closing in on a move to Paris, who are expected to appoint former Lille boss Christophe Galtier as Mauricio Pochettino's successor, with it suggested the midfielder had arrived in the city on Thursday to finalise a transfer.

    However, those claims have been rebuffed by Letang as he offered an olive branch to other interested clubs – confirming one offer from an unnamed side.

    Milan appeared favourites for Sanches' signature for a long time. They were interested in his Lille team-mate Sven Botman, too, but saw the defender instead head for Newcastle United.

    "There are players who can leave and there are players who can't leave. Without naming them today, we want to keep a competitive team," Letang told a press conference after Lille appointed Paulo Fonseca as their new coach.

    "Renato is one of the boys who still has a year left on his contract. Renato could or should have gone to Barcelona last summer, before he injured his meniscus. 

    "As of today, we've had no contact with PSG. We have seen lots of rumours about offers, but we've received no offer from PSG. 

    "Other clubs are interested, especially one great European club, who have already made us offers. That’s the situation with Renato."

  • Inter bolster midfield ranks with Asllani from Empoli Inter bolster midfield ranks with Asllani from Empoli

    Inter have completed the signing of Kristjan Asllani on loan from Empoli with an obligation to buy.

    The 20-year-old has signed a contract until June 2027 and will cost Inter €14million, with €4m of that identified as the fee for the initial loan.

    A central midfielder, Asllani came through Empoli's youth system and enjoyed a breakout season in 2021-22, featuring 23 times in Serie A as the Tuscans comfortably avoided relegation.

    He scored his only goal of the season in a 4-2 defeat to Inter on May 6.

    While the youngster is unlikely to be a regular starter initially – rather a back-up to Marcelo Brozovic – he will bolster Inter's midfield following the departure of Matias Vecino and expected exit of Stefano Sensi.

    Asllani was present at the club on Wednesday, when Romelu Lukaku completed his loan return from Chelsea, and the Belgium striker was central to a slightly bizarre announcement video.

    Speaking to club owner Steven Zhang in the clip, Lukaku said: "I spoke to this guy, the new guy, Asllani... I like his mentality. You'll be surprised. He's only 20, but he speaks like a 27-year-old."

    As part of the deal, promising Uruguayan striker Martin Satriano is expected to join Empoli on loan for the upcoming season.

  • Valverde returns to Athletic as new president Uriarte takes office Valverde returns to Athletic as new president Uriarte takes office

    Ernesto Valverde has secured a return to Athletic Bilbao after being appointed the club's head coach on president Jon Uriarte's first day in office.

    Valverde remains a popular figure at the club following a successful second stint as the first team's coach between 2013 and 2017.

    During that four-year spell, Valverde took Athletic into the Champions League, reached the final of the 2015 Copa del Rey and a few months later ended the club's 31-year trophy drought with a 5-1 aggregate defeat of Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana.

    He eventually left in May 2017 to take over from Luis Enrique at Barcelona, with whom Valverde won two LaLiga titles, the Copa del Rey and Supercopa before being dismissed in January 2020.

    The Blaugrana have won just one trophy since.

    Valverde's return for a third spell in charge of the team he also represented for six years as a player coincides with the election of Uriarte as Athletic's new president.

    Uriarte's key pledge in his election campaign was to bring Valverde back as coach following Marcelino Garcia Toral's departure in May.

    Former Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa – who has also coached Athletic before – appeared to be Valverde's biggest rival, having reached an agreement to take over if presidential candidate Inaki Arechabaleta had won the election.

    But Uriarte took 47.7 per cent of the vote compared to Arechabaleta's 33.7 per cent, with his success confirmed last week.

    As such, Valverde will extend his record as the coach with the most matches managed at Athletic (306), while supporters will hope he can maintain the feat of not finishing below seventh in his last spell – they have not ended a season higher than eighth since his departure.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.