Juventus boss Allegri satisfied with draw but star midfielder disagrees

Grant de Smidt
Paulo Dybala Juventus Manuel Locatelli August 2021

Juventus coach Max Allegri was content with his side’s 1-1 home draw with Napoli on Thursday night.

The draw kept the Old Lady in fifth place, five points off the top four. A goal from winger Federico Chiesa cancelled Napoli’s 1-0 lead through Dries Mertens. The Partenopei were missing nine players including six due to COVID-19 and three due to the Africa Cup of Nations. Juve were without Leonardo Bonucci, Danilo, Aaron Ramsey and Giorgio Chiellini themselves.

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Allegri told DAZN in his post-match interview: “It was a head-to-head for position and Napoli were missing four first choice players, we were missing six last time, so these things happen.

“We had the chances to take the lead, but were a little imprecise and hasty in the final third. 

“I’d like to see more calm and focus in the final third, but some of it is also to do with the characteristics of the players.

“Napoli have some excellent passers, we have some areas where we need to improve, but overall it was a good performance.”

The coach went on to explain his decision to move Chiese over to the right flank for this match.

“Seeing as Faouzi Ghoulam only played 34 minutes this season, it was normal to put Chiesa against him with that kind of pace and aggression,” he said.

“After the equaliser, we went too quickly for the long ball and needed more patience. We ought to score a few more goals, but we got Chiesa on target, did better with set play situations and had that chance with Weston McKennie, so we’re getting there.”

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Locatelli regrets Napoli draw

After a 1-1 draw at home against Napoli on Thursday, Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli was not happy with a solitary point.

Despite coach Max Allegri calling it a point gained, the Italian international playmaker disagreed:

“I think we have some regret, because we wanted to win. It’s a pity we went behind and we wanted to win, especially at home.

“We played with intensity, which is what the coach asked for, and are trying to achieve that for 90 minutes to bring home important points.

“It’s an important month and could be decisive, because there are some head-to-head clashes and we need to pick up as many points as possible.

“It’s a difficult situation for everyone [COVID-19], we must all follow the rules, get our vaccines and keep going.”

Juventus travel to Roma on Sunday night in their next match in Serie A.

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