Marotta: Juve must focus on winning

Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta reminded the club's players they need to carry their winning attitude into the new year to maintain their dominance of the Serie A table.

Juventus players celebrate a goal scored by Fernando Torres Llorente

The Bianconeri claimed a ninth straight league win when trouncing Atalanta 4-1 in Bergamo on Sunday and the reigning champions now hold a five-point advantage over previous leaders Roma, who they meet next month.

Carlos Tevez, Paul Pogba, Fernando Llorente and Arturo Vidal all scored at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia with only an early goal from Maximiliano Moralez taking any shine off an utterly convincing display.

It was the first time goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had conceded since October 20 - in the 4-2 defeat at Fiorentina - but Marotta praised the players for responding in the best possible way.

He told juventus.com: "We can't think about the advantage we have at the top of the table. Instead we must focus on continuing to win and the stability of the group, aspects which enable us to look to the future with optimism.

"It's a shame that Buffon's run without conceding has come to end but credit must also go to Atalanta, who did well to find a response to Tevez's opener.

"Juve then improved and came away with three deserved points."

Juve coach Antonio Conte, who was last year banned from football for four months after failing to report his knowledge of match-fixing, refused to speak to the press after the game.

Marotta revealed the 44-year-old is unhappy about being repeatedly asked for his take on Gennaro Gattuso's current situation.

The former AC Milan midfielder is currently under investigation for alleged involvement in match-fixing, allegations he strenuously denies.

Marotta added: "I think one of the club's duties is to support the manager's professionalism, allowing him the most serenity possible.

"He's saddened because every time the betting scandal is spoken about his name is brought up, despite the fact that he's already paid for a dismissed charge.

"As far as he's concerned it's a topic that is consigned to the past and his decision to not speak about it should be respected."

Spanish striker Llorente brought up his fifth league goal of the season by sweeping home Giorgio Chiellini's pass in the second half and the former Athletic Bilbao man praised his team-mates' dedication to the game plan.

He said: "It was very hard because Atalanta are very strong, especially at home.

"We stuck to the game plan throughout. Now we can enjoy our holidays in order to prepare as well as we can for Roma (in Turin on January 5).

"I'm improving and happy to play for a great team. Everyone works for each other and helps out their team-mates."



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