Following Juventus’ 1-0 Coppa Italia semi-final second leg win over Atalanta, Bianconeri coach Massimiliano Allegri was full of praise for his players.
Atalanta did hit the post while the game was level, but a Miralem Pjanic penalty led Juventus to their 18th Coppa Italia final, which is a record in the competition, and ensured a 2-0 aggregate win over Atalanta.
“I didn’t think about extra time when I saw Gomez’s shot, I looked at where it ended and luckily, it finished where it did,” Allegri told the press.
“It was the only technical mistake we made, in a game where we risked a lot.
“Then in the second half Juventus played a good game. In the first half we were a little slow, as a team, in closing the spaces in the defensive phase.
“They [Atalanta] didn’t manage to dribble much. But in the second half we were better as Douglas Costa played in between the lines, which really hurt them as we had the numerical advantage in that area.
Matuidi returned to the Juventus starting line up for the first time since their Serie A match against Genoa a month ago.
“Matuidi came back well,” Allegri went on. “He was playing as well as the others. Though since it was 10 days since we last played, we had a bit of difficulty in the beginning.
“In the second half we improved a lot, and I would say we played better technically.”
Allegra now leads Juventus to the seventh final of a cup competition, and their fourth Coppa Italia in succession.
“It’s not too many,” the coach continued. “Now we have to look ahead to the Champions League match [against Tottenham], but before that we have to concentrate on Lazio [in Serie A].
“This is about the club, and the players I have coached over the last four years. It’s the fourth year I am here, and this is a group that not only has technical attributes, also important moral values.
“Today, the players played for a place in history, because getting to four successive finals is something not every team can do. It isn’t simple.”