Allegri: 'Inter problem in first half'

Max Allegri concedes Inter “caused us problems in the first half,” but Juventus readjusted and emerged with a deserved 1-0 victory.

The Bianconeri had a scare in the first half with Roberto Gagliardini hitting the upright, but a Mario Mandzukic diving header on Joao Cancelo’s cross proved decisive.

“Inter caused us problems in the first half, opening up with Joao Mario and Gagliardini, so we struggled to close them down. It’s also true the biggest chances of the first half came from us giving the ball away,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

“I moved Mandzukic to the left, Paulo Dybala played much better and we had a very different performance in terms of intensity and pressure. We allowed Inter practically nothing in the second half and we had several more chances.

“Matteo Politano was putting pressure on, so I switched the full-backs to make the most of our characteristics and cover where needed, pushing on the other.

“Cancelo struggled a little with Politano in the first half, mainly the transitions. We’re working on Cancelo’s defensive approach and it must be recognised he has improved a great deal.

“I asked the lads this evening to be efficient and effective. We were only half that in the first period, but then we started to hold the ball with greater patience, were more organised and solid. After that, the quality of the players inevitably emerges.

“Cancelo did very well, I thought Dybala was excellent, but I had to introduce Douglas Costa for his pace out wide.

“We knew the championship wouldn’t end today, but we still absolutely had to avoid defeat.”

It seems whenever there is a big occasion, Mandzukic always shows up for Juventus.

“Mandzukic is one of those players who even on a bit of an off day can bring his physicality to the game and that can make the difference.

“I asked with the crosses to avoid Milan Skriniar and Joao Miranda, to work on the full-backs who were less physical than we were in those roles. It was a good cross to find Mandzukic.”

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