Massimiliano Allegri accepts it will take time for Paul Pogba to get fully up to speed as the midfielder prepares to make his long-awaited second debut for Juventus.

The France international has yet to feature for Juve since rejoining the club last July following his Manchester United exit due to a succession of setbacks.

He sustained a knee injury in pre-season that required surgery, forcing him to miss the entire season to date and France's World Cup campaign.

Pogba was on the substitutes' bench for Juve's shock 2-0 home loss to Monza in January, but Allegri opted against bringing him on and he has not featured in the squad since.

However, Allegri confirmed at his pre-match news conference on the eve of Tuesday's Serie A match with city rivals Torino that the 29-year-old is finally ready to play.

"He's feeling better and he's been called up for tomorrow's game," Allegri said. "If necessary, we'll play him. We know he won't have much playing time, but he can play.

"I've talked to him like I have all the others. He understands it's an important part of the season to get back playing. He must remain motivated to help us finish the season well."

Pogba, who signed a four-year deal with Juventus, has not played a competitive game since his former club United's 4-0 Premier League loss to Liverpool last April.

 

Allegri also confirmed Federico Chiesa, who has missed Juve's past two matches, is in contention to play against Torino.

"He trained with the team yesterday," Allegri said. "He can't start from the beginning. Players who come back from a long period of inactivity must be managed. He's fine, though.

"We have Pogba, who has not played for 315 days, and Chiesa, who missed 10 months. It'll take a little patience. It's normal – they're humans. We need to help them grow."

Juventus, who were docked 15 points last month following an investigation into the club's past transfer dealings, have won their past three Serie A games without conceding.

The Bianconeri are now eighth, 12 points off the top four ahead of their midweek Derby della Mole showdown with Torino, who are one point and one place further back.

Juve are unbeaten in their past 17 derbies in all competitions, with 13 wins and four draws.

"The derby is always an important game for both teams, especially for us. We must continue this climb by increasing our points in the league," Allegri said.

"This match has the value it must have. On the pitch, regardless of what happens outside, we have to get the points to stay in the top-four battle."

Not since April 1995 have Torino won away at Juventus, losing 11 times and drawing five since then.

Massimiliano Allegri hailed the impact of Angel Di Maria after the winger's hat-trick helped Juventus see off Nantes on Thursday to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League.

Di Maria put the Bianconeri in front with a stunning opener after just five minutes, before his inventive backheel was prevented from going in by the arm of Nicolas Pallois, giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.

Di Maria thumped home the resulting penalty after Pallois was given his marching orders, and the Argentina international rounded off his hat-trick with a late header to cap a sublime display and send the Bianconeri through, becoming the first Juve player to score at least three goals in a European match since Filippo Inzaghi in 2000.

Allegri lauded the improvements Di Maria has made after an injury-hit start to life at Juventus following his move from Paris Saint-Germain.

"Angel is a world champion," Allegri told reporters after the match. "He increases the quality of this Juventus and we are all happy to have him.

"Having someone like him is important to the team. Now, he knows the team better and is physically better."

Allegri was delighted with his team's second-leg performance after a disappointing 1-1 draw in Turin left his team with a tricky test to progress at a raucous Stade de la Beaujoire.

They came through that test in style, and Allegri is setting his sights on winning the competition after one win in six Champions League group-stage matches saw Juve drop into the Europa League.

It could also be their only route to next season's Champions League, following a 15-point deduction in Serie A for financial breaches which sees them sitting seventh and playing catch-up for the European spots.

"Winning away from home is never easy, in Europe even more," Allegri said. "After the elimination in the Champions League, it seems that winning in Europe for Juve is a walk in the park, but it's not like that.

"Now seeing the [Serie A] standings, the Europa League seems like the only way to get to the Champions League.

"Barcelona, ​​Manchester United, Sevilla, Feyenoord, Arsenal, there are important teams [in the Europa League].

"Let's see who we get in the round of 16, if Roma also get through. We try to get to the final, but not just to get to the Champions League, but also to win a trophy."

An Angel Di Maria hat-trick fired Juventus into the Europa League round of 16 as they secured a 4-1 aggregate triumph over 10-man Nantes on Thursday.

A 1-1 draw in Turin meant Juve faced a tough task to progress at a loud Stade de la Beaujoire, but Di Maria's spectacular opener set them on the way to victory.

Nantes' task was made harder when Nicolas Pallois saw red for handling Di Maria's inventive goalbound flick, before the Juve winger slammed the resulting penalty into the top corner.

Di Maria capped his excellent display with a late header to seal Juve's progression, and Massimiliano Allegri's men await Friday's draw to find out who stands between them and the quarter-finals.

Nantes started brightly but found themselves behind after five minutes when Di Maria's stunning curler found the top left corner from outside the area.

Things went from bad to worse for the hosts shortly after as Di Maria weaved into the box before backheeling towards goal, with the Argentina international's effort striking the arm of Pallois.

The referee awarded a penalty and sent the Nantes defender off, before Di Maria thumped home the spot-kick.

It should have been game over just before the break, but Filip Kostic could only drill off the post from a tight angle.

Di Maria nearly completed his hat-trick shortly after the restart, though Alban Lafont palmed away his attempt from range.

Di Maria did get his treble with 12 minutes to play though as his header from a tight angle squeezed just over the line to put Juve through to the next round in style.

Massimiliano Allegri explained injuries were to be expected for Federico Chiesa this season and the issue that will keep him out this week is "nothing serious".

Chiesa will not play for Juventus against Nantes in the second leg of their Europa League knockout round play-off.

His absence is a blow having impressed in a first leg the Bianconeri dominated before drawing 1-1 in Turin.

Any lay-off for Chiesa is likely to cause concern given he missed almost a year with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

However, Allegri was able to reassure Juve supporters ahead of the match at Stade de la Beaujoire, suggesting such setbacks were natural after a major injury.

"Unfortunately, tomorrow we don't have him, but we knew this," Allegri said.

"When a player is 10 months without playing, he comes back and when he makes two games in a row, some issues can occur that are nothing serious but affect the possibility of having him available."

Juve would have hoped not to be playing in the Europa League, but Allegri still sees an opportunity to take a rare step.

In each of the previous three campaigns, the Serie A giants were beaten in their first knockout tie in the Champions League, meaning they are looking to end a long wait for a two-legged triumph.

"This year Juventus has an important goal," Allegri said. "It is to pass the first qualifying round, even if these are the 'sixteenth-finals', given that in the last three years we have always gone out in the first knockout round in the Champions League.

"Tomorrow is a final, a unique game, since away goals no longer count double. We know that tomorrow we play a game at [Nantes'] home, and we play for the passage through this round."

Massimiliano Allegri feels fortunate to work with World Cup winner Angel Di Maria after the winger scored at Spezia, where the Italian felt Juventus were lucky to triumph.

Di Maria came off the bench and lashed home a pinpoint finish into the bottom-left corner as Juve triumphed 2-0 after Moise Kean's first-half opener at Stadio Alberto Picco on Sunday.

The Argentina international has been directly involved in 10 goals (four goals, six assists) for Juve in all competitions this season.

That is the most of any Bianconeri player this term, contributing to a goal every 97 minutes on average, and Allegri remains grateful to work with the 35-year-old.

"I've always been lucky because in the teams I've coached I've been stuffed with champions. Di Maria is one of them," Allegri said of the forward, who signed a one-year deal ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

"The bad luck is that he's 35, I would have liked him younger so he could play all the matches. He came in and did extraordinary things."

Di Maria has previously stated he would like to move back to Argentina this year or next, with a return to where he started his career at Rosario Central on the cards.

While Allegri was thankful for the impact of Di Maria, he was less than impressed with Juve's performance despite recording a third straight victory in Serie A.

Mattia Perrin was forced into seven saves, the most he has made in the league since August 15 against Sassuolo (also seven), as the Bianconeri held out for victory.

That was in stark contrast to Thursday's 1-1 Europa League play-off home draw with Nantes, who came from a goal behind, and Allegri acknowledged Juve were fortunate to win this time around.

"Football is strange: on Thursday we slip once and draw, today maybe you concede a goal on 1-0 and who knows," he continued.

"Football is this, there are games you deserve to win and you don't win, and you win others in which you deserve less. It is hard to explain."

Defeat left Spezia just two points above the relegation zone, yet Allegri believes they will have enough to beat the drop.

He added: "Playing here is always complicated. Spezia always creates something because they have quality. I think they have an excellent chance of saving themselves."

Massimiliano Allegri insists he is not nervous amid reports suggesting his position as Juventus coach is at risk, saying critics cannot argue with his achievements in Turin.

Juventus benefitted from a late VAR reprieve in a 1-0 win over Fiorentina in Serie A last Sunday, before being pegged back by Nantes in a 1-1 Europa League draw on Thursday.

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported Allegri is clinging to his job in his second stint with the club, amid a frustrating campaign which has seen them exit the Champions League at the first hurdle and receive a 15-point deduction in Serie A after an investigation into historic transfer dealings.

Allegri was seen arguing with a supporter in the aftermath of Juve's last league outing, but he claims he is not feeling the pressure.

"I'm not nervous," Allegri said at a press conference to preview Sunday's trip to Spezia. "Something happened with someone booing the players for no reason.

"The other night it was perhaps the wrong reaction, and I can accept criticism for many things, but there is one thing, we shouldn't talk about facts. There's no arguing about that.

"I accept that they say that I'm a poor coach and my teams suck because that's part of the criticism. But there's no arguing about the numbers."

Allegri led Juventus to five successive Serie A titles and two Champions League finals during his first spell with the club between 2014 and 2019, but he oversaw the Bianconeri's first trophyless campaign since 2010-11 last season.

Following Thursday's draw with Nantes, Juventus have won just one of their last eight matches in European competitions (D1 L6), though they did at least avoid suffering four consecutive continental defeats for the first time.

Allegri rejects the notion Juve's critics should be more understanding given the off-pitch turmoil impacting the club, and says they have plenty to play for in the remainder of the campaign.

"We don't need understanding," he said. "We have to try to do our best. We have to make an important climb in the league, it's important for us to score a certain amount of points regardless of what happens outside.

"It's a pity, the Europa, but it's proof that there aren't any easy games in Europe and so we'll have to go to Nantes and try to play a game that will allow us to go through, and we have the chance.

"Then we have the semi-final of the Coppa Italia and we'll see there too."

Massimiliano Allegri warned Juventus cannot afford "to feel sorry for ourselves" after the Bianconeri were denied a late penalty and failed to make their dominance pay against Nantes.

Juve were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa League play-off tie on Thursday after Ludovic Blas' second-half strike cancelled out a simple Dusan Vlahovic opener.

Allegri's side dominated for large parts at Allianz Stadium and were left aggrieved after seeing a late penalty appeal turned down when Andrei Girotto appeared to handle inside the area.

The VAR sent referee Joao Pinheiro to the touchline monitor in the final minutes, but he instead awarded a free-kick for a Bremer push on the Nantes defender, much to Allegri's annoyance.

"I saw it now. Needless to say it was a hand, a penalty, it should have been a second yellow card," the Juve coach told Sky Sport Italia.

While Juve were left furious with the late decision, the Bianconeri should have sealed the play-off advantage earlier after pinning their visitors back throughout.

Allegri's side managed 64.2 per cent possession in the second half, registered double their opponents' seven shots over the full game and hit the target with six of those compared to Nantes' one.

The stalemate left it all to play for at Beaujoire Stadium on February 23 as Allegri was left to rue a missed chance.

"We could have done better with our ball speed. After 1-0 we stopped, we played too much in slow motion," the Italian added.

"It went to 1-1 and then we got back to playing, we had the chance to go 2-1 up on several occasions. We have to carry on [when on top], especially in these matches where you need to score more goals.

"It's useless to feel sorry for ourselves, we have to secure qualification in France. But now we have to think about Spezia [on Sunday]."

Allegri was also left frustrated with the nature of Blas' equaliser after Nantes raced away on a counterattack that started on the edge of their own area, with Mostafa Mohamed playing through his strike partner to equalise.

He continued: "[Angel] Di Maria could shoot, he tried to dribble, it can happen. You can't let a counterattack happen from the other end of the pitch and not make a foul.

"It happened because at that moment we were a bit out of the game."

Massimiliano Allegri emphasised the importance of the Europa League, particularly as it may be Juventus' only potential route into next season's Champions League.

Juve were recently hit with a 15-point deduction in Serie A related to financial irregularities from past transfer dealings, and sit 12 points off the top four with 16 games remaining.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of their Europa League playoff first leg against Ligue 1 side Nantes, Allegri said the competition is an "important objective".

"Tomorrow the Europa League begins, which also becomes an important objective as a gateway to next season's Champions League," he told reporters. "We want to get through the knockouts to reach the round of 16 and then go all the way.

"We know it won't be easy, French teams are difficult to face. Nantes are doing well and have quality and technical players up front. This fixture is played over 180 minutes, we will have to lay the foundations to go to Nantes with a good advantage."

Allegri confirmed Juan Cuadrado and Leonardo Bonucci are back in contention, and injured duo Paul Pogba and Kaio Jorge are the only players unavailable to him on Thursday.

After switching between three and four in defence this season, the 55-year-old admitted he still is not sure which he will use against Nantes, and that several factors will come into consideration.

"I haven't decided on the formation yet, I have to evaluate everyone's conditions, also taking into consideration that we play Spezia on Sunday," he said. "The future? Now we are focused on the present, continuing to work and improve."

Centre-back Gleison Bremer also addressed the media on Wednesday, and insisted he does not mind whether he plays in a three or a four.

"Defence in three or four? I'm available for the team, there's no problem" he said. "I'm happy with what I've done personally so far, I have to keep growing. We have shown our value as a team, we know what we are worth."

Allegri also offered words of condolence to Cameroonian striker Ignatius Ganago, who will not play against Juve following the death of his five-year-old daughter.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to send a big hug to Ganago," Allegri said.

Erling Haaland's long-term future has been a source of speculation for months and reports of a release clause in mid-2024 in his Manchester City contract have put Barcelona and Real Madrid on high alert.

The Norwegian was pursued by a host of clubs last off-season, with City winning the race ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Chelsea, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Haaland has since scored 25 Premier League goals in 21 appearances and 31 in all competitions after joining City.


TOP STORY – HAALAND SET FOR SPANISH SWITCH NEXT YEAR

Erling Haaland has decided he wants to leave England for Spain next year when the release clause in his City contract can be activated, reports Fichajes.

The report claims Real Madrid and Barcelona are the two viable options for Haaland, who will exit City at the end of the 2023-24 season, with playing in Spain a dream for the 22-year-old.

City's potential sanctions for alleged breaches of the Premier League's financial rules have also played a part in Haaland believing mid-2024 is the right time to leave.

 

ROUND-UP

- Big-spending Chelsea are set to join the race to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, reports The Telegraph. Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid are already keen on the 19-year-old England international.

- Manchester Evening News claims Manchester United have "genuine interest" in a move for Roma's English striker Tammy Abraham in the next transfer window.

- Barcelona's Ansu Fati will resist overtures from Tottenham, Arsenal and Bayern Munich to remain with the Blaugrana, reports Mundo Deportivo.

- AS reports Tottenham will turn to Sevilla's Morocco international goalkeeper Yassine Bounou in their search for a long-term successor to Hugo Lloris.

- Leicester City have ramped up talks with James Maddison on a new contract amid interest from Newcastle United, Arsenal and Tottenham, claims The Telegraph.

- FotoSpor claims Turkish club Fenerbahce have reached out to Manchester United about signing Mason Greenwood, who is under club investigation despite criminal charges being dropped against him recently.

- Calciomercatoweb reports Massimiliano Allegri could leave his position as Juventus head coach to replace Roberto Mancini in Italy's top job.

Massimiliano Allegri has defended his Juventus players amid their turbulent Serie A season, arguing they deserve greater respect for their performances.

The Bianconeri edged Fiorentina in a 1-0 win on Sunday, with Adrien Rabiot's first-half finish enough to seal the victory in Turin.

The result comes amid a campaign that has seen Juve's top-four hopes torpedoed by a 15-point sanction handed down for financial mismanagement off the field.

Allegri, who was seen rowing with a fan during the closing stages, feels his players have shouldered unfair blame for a decision outside of their control, and backed them afterwards.

"I am disappointed, because while most of the crowd is helping the team, there are a few who decide a player is poor and jeer [us]," he told DAZN.

"Players like Moise Kean, Mattia De Sciglio, Leandro Paredes. They are Juventus players, and we need all of them.

"I don't like people coming to the stadium ready to jeer. That is disrespectful. By all means jeer when we do badly, but not ahead of time."

The sanction handed down against Juve has left them with a limited shot at both silverware and a place in European competition next year.

Allegri however is not giving up on either front, adding: "The Europa League and the Coppa Italia are objectives, along with climbing back up the table.

"We have to take it one game at a time. It is a new experience, it is interesting to go through, and we're sticking together."

Two goals were chalked off throughout the encounter for marginal offside calls by VAR, against Dusan Vlahovic and Gaetano Castrovilli.

In both instances, the pair saw their efforts denied by a matter of millimetres, to which Allegri called for further alterations to the system.

"I think that is the right way to go," he added to Sky Sport Italia. "We can't have goals disallowed for hair being offside. We'd all have to get the same haircut as me!"

Adrien Rabiot's header was enough to earn Juventus a 1-0 win over Fiorentina that lifted them into the top half of the Serie A table despite some late controversy.

Rabiot scored the winner in the first half of a typically feisty affair between two long-standing rivals at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday, moving the beleaguered Bianconeri up to ninth.

Juve's former Fiorentina pair Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa started alongside Angel Di Maria for the first time, and the World Cup winner outshone them by teeing up Rabiot's goal in a bright display.

Vlahovic saw an effort chalked off for offside following a VAR review, but Juve will feel that decision was evened out when Gaetano Castrovilli saw a stunning late volley disallowed following a similar intervention.

Chances were at a premium during a heated start, before Filip Kostic squandered a couple of decent openings.

Juve made their superiority count after 34 minutes, however.

A teasing ball from Di Maria was met with a firm header by Rabiot, which Pietro Terracciano could not claw away as goal-line technology confirmed it crept in. 

Vlahovic thought he had scored against Fiorentina for the first time since his acrimonious departure last year when he lobbed Terracciano from Kostic's pass, only to be called offside by the tightest of margins.

Vlahovic's replacement Moise Kean was then thwarted by Terracciano soon after entering the fray, before Luka Jovic almost levelled with a glancing header.

Fiorentina were then denied in contentious circumstances one minute from time, a VAR review deeming Luca Ranieri to have been offside before Castrovilli found the bottom-left corner with a thumping volley from range.

Massimiliano Allegri believes Paul Pogba may be ready to make his long-awaited second Juventus debut in three weeks' time as he builds up his fitness levels.

The France international has yet to feature for the Bianconeri since rejoining the club from Manchester United at the start of the season due to a succession of injury setbacks.

Pogba underwent surgery after sustaining a knee injury during pre-season, forcing him to miss the entire campaign to date as well as the World Cup in Qatar.

Despite returning to the bench for the Serie A defeat by Monza at the end of January, Allegri revealed the midfielder is enduring yet another spell on the sidelines to increase his match fitness.

Speaking ahead of Juve's clash with Fiorentina on Sunday, the head coach said: "Pogba cannot be called up. At the moment, he is in the pits. 

"It's not a new injury he's picked up, but a case of finding his feet and fitness again. He's working hard to get to the point where he's ready to play.

"He is working to be available again. At this moment, I cannot tell you when he will return. Maybe in 20 days, I don't know.

"A normal path, coming from [this sort of injury], is very boring because, until the knee settles, it bothers every now and then. He is working, and he is putting all the effort possible. But at the moment, he is not available."

Meanwhile, Allegri revealed Adrien Rabiot will feature against Fiorentina, but the clash at Allianz Stadium comes too soon for Leonardo Bonucci, who will be available for Thursday's Europa League showdown with Nantes.

The Bianconeri head into the match only two points ahead of Fiorentina due to a 15-point deduction following an investigation into past transfer dealings.

That means they have a mammoth 14 to make up on the top four to qualify for the Champions League through their league position, but the head coach is pleased with the mood within the camp. 

"We need to improve the plays on the verticals, on the diagonals, we have these plays in our feet," Allegri added. "In this, the team is doing well, but we are far from what we can do.

"There is a good harmony knowing that to make results you have to struggle and respect the opponent a lot."

Massimiliano Allegri hailed Juventus' mental fortitude after responding to a troublesome period following their points deduction with victory at Salernitana.

Juve had not won in three Serie A games, including a 5-1 thrashing by Napoli and a surprise 2-0 defeat to Monza, while the club had also been docked 15 points following an investigation into past transfer dealings.

But Allegri's side bounced back on Tuesday with a dominant 3-0 victory at Salernitana as Dusan Vlahovic scored twice and assisted Serbia team-mate Filip Kostic for the other.

Victory moved Juve up to 10th, albeit some 13 points off fourth-placed Lazio, and Allegri heaped praise on his side's resilience amid a difficult time in Turin.

The Juve head coach told reporters: "The lads are responsible, we can tell each other many things, but I think it wasn't and isn't easy to keep your head in the championship after 15 points were taken away from you.

"We set ourselves some goals, which is to catch those in front of us. Then there's the Coppa Italia [semi-final] with Inter and the Europa League.

"It was important to win. We have 26 points, no one remembers that we scored 41 and we would be third in the standings. Look at the current standings."

Vlahovic took his tally to eight for the season with his first-half penalty and cool finish after the interval, with Allegri delighted to see his star striker returning to form, along with some vital minutes for Angel Di Maria.

"If Di Maria always plays 60 minutes, I'm happy, he's a champion. Vlahovic is coming back well, meanwhile [Moise] Kean has had important chances," Allegri added.

"We need all these players, it's normal that we need to improve in possession. We play every three days, so everyone is important."

Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus' primary aim is to reach 40 points and ensure their place in Serie A for next season, with their 15-point deduction appearing to dash any top-four hopes.

Juventus were considered one of the sides capable of challenging leaders Napoli before an investigation into their historic transfer dealings led to their sanction being handed down last month.

Having picked up just one point from their last three league games, Juventus now sit 13th in the table, 10 points clear of the bottom three but 15 adrift of fourth-placed Lazio. 

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's trip to 16th-placed Salernitana, who would leapfrog the Bianconeri with a win, Allegri was cautious when asked about his hopes for the remainder of the campaign. 

"Right now the fact is that they have taken away 15 points and we must think about reaching 40 to save ourselves," Allegri said.

"It's laughable, but we have to think about this goal first and proceed step by step. Setting ourselves goals now is unthinkable. 

"Now we have to reach the teams in front of us and climb slowly. Tomorrow we have to win, because in the last three league games we have only scored one point."

Juve will again be without Paul Pogba in Salerno after a minor injury delayed his second Bianconeri debut, while Leonardo Bonucci is also sidelined after suffering from a bout of flu.

"Everyone is available apart from Bonucci who has had the flu for three days, Pogba as before, and [Leandro] Paredes has a foot injury and won't be there," he said. "All the others are present."

Juve will likely need striker Dusan Vlahovic to return to top form if they are to climb the table, as he continues to chase his first goal of 2023.

Vlahovic has failed to score in his two appearances since returning from the World Cup with a groin injury, with his last club goal coming at the home of neighbours Torino in mid-October.

The Serbia international has thus scored each of his last eight Serie A goals in Turin (seven at the Allianz stadium and one at the Olimpico Grande Torino), last netting outside the city in a win at Cagliari last April.

Asked whether the striker will start Tuesday's game, Allegri said: "I haven't decided yet, but I'll make the assessments. Physically he's fine, he's much lighter and more dynamic than when he arrived.

"Let's hope he scores tomorrow. Vlahovic has never been as good physically as he is now, not even when he arrived from Fiorentina." 

Gleison Bremer said his Juventus team-mates have pledged to ignore the Bianconeri's off-pitch woes after scoring the winner in Thursday's Coppa Italia quarter-final against Lazio.

Bremer diverted Filip Kostic's cross home with a glancing header on the stroke of half-time as Juve clinched a 1-0 win over the Biancocelesti, teeing up a semi-final tie against Inter.

The win provided welcome relief for a side sitting 13th in Serie A after being issued with a 15-point deduction last month, a sanction which has been compounded by a three-game winless run in the league. 

Speaking after his goal sent Juve to their eighth Coppa Italia semi-final in nine seasons, Bremer admitted off-pitch issues had impacted the team in recent weeks, but revealed the squad's pledge to rediscover their focus.

"I'm happy with this goal, but it was important to go through at this moment," the Brazil international told Mediaset.

"We know we've played two games not up to par, but we talked to each other and what happens off the pitch cannot spill onto the pitch. The club will take care of it, we will take care of the pitch. 

"Juventus are a top-level team, let's score as many points as possible and see where we'll be at end of the championship. 

"At the beginning of the year we lost a little something, then we spoke and we found each other."

Since the Coppa Italia quarter-finals became one-legged affairs in the 2008-09 season, Juve have won nine of their 10 such fixtures at home, the only exception being a 2011 defeat to Roma.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri hailed Juve's mentality after the hard-fought victory, highlighting the improvements made since Sunday's shock defeat to Monza. 

"The most important thing is the attitude, which was missing in the first half against Monza, where we conceded two easy goals," Allegri said.

"The boys were good. They are responsible. They must understand that to win matches, in addition to tactics and technique, you need the right spirit. 

"Today we won many tackles, we arrived first in duels, we defended well and played in an orderly and patient manner against good pressure from Lazio."

Juventus were without Paul Pogba for Thursday's win, with the midfielder seeing his second debut for the club delayed once more after suffering another minor injury.

Allegri does not expect him to return against Salernitana on Tuesday, saying: "Pogba is unlikely to be available in Salerno, because he's been doing little or nothing for a week. We hope to have him back as soon as possible because he's a player we count on. 

"I've been in the world of football for 50 years. When things go against you, then you have to be patient to get out of it."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.