Ronaldo and Dybala can play together, insists Allegri

By Sports Desk February 10, 2019

Massimiliano Allegri insisted Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala can play together despite seeing Juventus return to winning ways after dropping the Argentinian.

Dybala was made to apologise after he stormed off the touchline during Juve's 3-3 draw with Parma and he was among the substitutes as the Bianconeri bounced back with a 3-0 win at Sassuolo.

Allegri brought Dybala on for the final seven minutes of the game, by which time goals from Sami Khedira and Ronaldo had put the Serie A champions in control, and Emre Can added a third as the visitors went 11 points clear at the top of the table.

Allegri explained his team selection to Sky Sport Italia, saying: "I compliment the team for a clean sheet, which is very important. We're in good shape.

"Ronaldo and Dybala can certainly play together and they will do, but we need everyone to work hard in order to keep the team balanced.

"It all depends on who you are playing against. If the opponents are really clammed up, you need to pass around them. If they leave gaps, you pass between the lines.

"Sassuolo have a strong midfield, so I had to balance my team that way."

Dybala has scored just two Serie A goals in 20 appearances this season and is set to fall well short of the 22-goal haul he achieved in 2017-18.

Allegri explained the 25-year-old remains an important player but indicated the arrival of Ronaldo this season had made Dybala less effective in certain games.

"Players are disappointed, but every now and then sitting on the bench is necessary to recharge the batteries and rediscover the right mental toughness," said Allegri.

"Different players have different characteristics. Dybala is playing the same role as he did last year and the year before.

"It's just having Ronaldo, who is more of a striker, we need someone to find the space. We still need bodies in the box.

"You can play Dybala and Ronaldo, it just depends on the situations. Ronaldo played with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, so it's not like they're insane at Real Madrid.

"Everyone needs the right partner. Mario Mandzukic is very helpful for Dybala and for Ronaldo."

Related items

  • Khedira thanks fans for support following discovery of heart problem Khedira thanks fans for support following discovery of heart problem

    Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira has thanked fans for their support after he underwent treatment on a heart problem.

    Khedira withdrew from the squad to face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday following the detection of an irregular heartbeat.

    He is not expected to return until late March after Juve confirmed he had been treated successfully but the Germany international later tweeted his thanks and wished his team-mates well for their last-16 clash with Atleti at the Wanda Metropolitano.

    "I've had a successful interventional therapy today in the morning with an ablation of an arrhythmogenic atrial focus," he posted. 

    "Everything went perfectly well and I will be able to get back to work after a short rest. Thank you so much for all your messages and get well wishes!

    "A big thank you to Prof. F. Gaita as well. Now I'm wishing my team-mates all the best for tonight's game in Madrid."

    Khedira, who joined from Real Madrid in 2015, has made 15 appearances in all competitions for Juve this season.

  • Plaudits premature, says Milan star Piatek Plaudits premature, says Milan star Piatek

    Krzysztof Piatek insists he is not yet worthy of some of the praise that has come his way since his move to AC Milan in January.

    The Poland international has scored six goals in five matches since arriving from Genoa for a reported fee of €35million, sparking optimism that he could be the man to fire the club out of the doldrums.

    Milan's only silverware since winning the 2010-11 Serie A title is a pair of Supercoppa Italiana trophies.

    But while Piatek hopes to play his part in restoring Milan to the top of Italian and European football, he is a reluctant recipient of the early plaudits.

    "If I had all the qualities the newspapers are talking about, I'd be the best player in history," Piatek told Przeglad Sportowy. 

    "I hope that Milan will be great again thanks to me and that one day I will be really worthy of those comparisons. 

    "In my opinion certain headlines are exaggerated. I take only a part of that praise. 

    "I'm satisfied with the goals, not the fact that thanks to them I made headlines."

  • Icardi will be welcomed with open arms, insists Candreva Icardi will be welcomed with open arms, insists Candreva

    Inter players will welcome Mauro Icardi back into the team "with open arms" despite his seemingly fractious relationship with the club, according to Antonio Candreva.

    There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding Icardi, as the Argentina striker and the Nerazzurri hierarchy are at loggerheads due to a series of issues.

    Not only are contract negotiations said to have stalled, Inter are reported to be unhappy with Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara publicly commenting on club matters. He was also stripped of the captaincy last week.

    Following that decision head coach Luciano Spalletti said Icardi decided not to play in their Europa League last-32 first leg against Rapid Vienna, with the 26-year-old suggesting on social media he is nursing a right knee injury.

    Icardi watched the 2-1 victory over Sampdoria on Sunday from the stands and a scan on Wednesday suggested no significant knee issue was detected, but Candreva insists the team are looking forward to his return despite the ongoing saga.

    "We have talked a lot about this situation, directors, the president and coach all spoke about it," Candreva told reporters ahead of Thursday's return match against Rapid.

    "We know that Mauro is displeased, as we are. He's a super guy. He cares about us and the Inter shirt, and we are waiting for him with open arms."

    The situation has opened the door for Lautaro Martinez to lead Inter's line, with the pre-season recruit from Argentina's Racing Club previously used mostly from the bench.

    Spalletti is adamant he and Icardi can play together, however.

    "I have always said that they are very similar, they are two central strikers," Spalletti said. "But like all similar attackers, they can coexist.

    "One is better in the penalty area, the other is relaxed in coming out [of the box]. Lautaro must show that in front of the goal he has the same exceptional skill as Icardi.

    "Until recently we have always said that Icardi was an important absence, and it is the same now."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.