Allegri Plays Down Juventus Title Chances Following Atalanta Loss

Massimiliano Allegri has played down Juventus’ Scudetto ambitions following his side’s narrow 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Atalanta. It’s been over 30 years since La Dea last won a competitive match in Turin, but it always felt like this has been their best chance to end that drought against the underperforming Bianconeri.

A scrappy encounter at the Allianz Stadium, jammed-full of flying tackles from both sides, failed to produce much in terms of entertainment. But given what was at stake, it doesn’t surprise that both teams refused to give much away in an evenly-contested battle in Turin.

Juventus were four points behind fourth-placed Atalanta ahead of the kick-off, meaning a triumph would effectively drive them back into the coveted top-four race. Meanwhile, La Dea knew that the three points would keep them within touching distance of the Serie A pacesetters Napoli and Milan.

Unfortunately for Juventus, one poor attempt to play the ball from the back eventually came back to haunt them. Alvaro Morata’s lazy lay-off was picked up by Berat Djimsiti, whose delightful first-time pass set Duvan Zapata one-on-one with Wojciech Szczesny. 

As it’s often been the case this season, the Colombian showed no mercy, hammering the ball off the post into the back of the net. Little did anyone know that Zapata’s 28th-minute strike would eventually decide the encounter at the Allianz Stadium. 

However, despite Juventus’ utmost efforts to salvage a point came to no avail, with Gian Piero Gasperini’s men staying firm at the back to walk away with a precious victory. Adrien Rabiot and Paulo Dybala were closest to restoring the stalemate, but Juan Musso and the crossbar, respectively, hindered the hosts’ attempts to avoid defeat.

With his side now dropping seven points below the current top four, Allegri maintains Juventus’ prime task this season has always been securing automatic Champions League qualification.

“It was a performance similar to the one against Lazio, with Fiorentina and Milan,” he told DAZN, as relayed by TUTTOmercatoWEB. “We don’t make the most of the chances we create, Atalanta had only one shot on goal from our error, and as I said yesterday, it’s the goal that counts. 

There is some anxiety, the players are hasty and rush things, but we must keep working on the performances and try to win games to get that confidence and calm back.

I think it’s a very good squad, there are moments when we struggle to score goals, but people said at the start that this was the strongest squad that simply had to win the Scudetto and I always noted that was inaccurate.

We are here to challenge for the top four. I cannot complain to my lads after this performance, I can only congratulate their efforts, then the rest is down to those of you who talk for a living.