Allegri hails focused and vibrant Juve

Massimiliano Allegri has praised the defensive solidity of his Juventus side following their 2-0 Champions League defeat of Valencia at the Mestalla on Wednesday night.

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Two converted penalties from Miralem Pjanic either side of the half-time break secured all three points to put Juve second in Group H behind Manchester United, who beat BSC Young Boys 3-0.

It was by no means a straight-forward win, with Cristiano Ronaldo dismissed with a straight red on just 29 minutes.

Wojciech Szczesny was excellent in goal though and made sure of the clean sheet as he kept out Dani Parejo’s 96th-minute penalty.

After the game, Allegri told the club’s official website: “It was like two different games – we played football when we needed to and defended well at times too.

“This gives us the best possible start, but we can’t let up now.”

He added: “We play away on Sunday and then we face Napoli and will need to beat Young Boys. Tonight we were able to dictate the play, get ourselves into the lead and then manage the game well without giving away chances. It’s definitely been a useful test.

“We worked hard and we managed not to concede, which is great news. You’re unlikely to concede goals when you’re as focused as we were tonight, plus we’re also becoming more vibrant going forward.”

Allegri also felt the sending off of Ronaldo was harsh and says the use of VAR would probably have provided a different outcome.

“The Cristiano sending off is one of those examples of how VAR helps the referees,” the Italian manager explained.

“Things could have got complicated for us, having been reduced to ten men for a red card that was non-existent, but thankfully that wasn’t the case.

“He was upset and he needs time to calm down. He needs to rise above it and focus on Sunday, even if these things leave a bitter taste in the mouth.”