Massimiliano Allegri insisted Juventus should remain angry about the points they have frittered away in Serie A this season after his team returned to winning ways in the competition.

After defeats to Sassuolo and Hellas Verona in their last two league games, Juventus came into the weekend as mid-table stragglers, the prospect of a Scudetto tilt almost already in tatters.

It would take something special from here to become involved in a title scrap, and a 1-0 win over Fiorentina, secured against 10 men by a stoppage-time Juan Cuadraro strike, was hardly the hallmark of a Juventus team on the up. Their first shot on target did not arrive until the 86th minute.

Yet a narrow home win might be a small step towards Juventus becoming a force again, with the three points being the pay-off for an intense week of training.

Head coach Allegri told DAZN: "Mentally we kept up well; this should make us happy for this victory, but very angry for the points left with Sassuolo, with Empoli, in Udine, in Verona.

"With a different mentality, with a different nastiness about our playing, we would have brought home some points, so we have to be happy, but also angry and not forget what we left behind us.

"If we had won against Sassuolo and Empoli we would be in an excellent position in the standings. We did not win, and we must do a mea culpa."

Allegri's second spell at Juventus could require abundant patience before reward arrives, unlike his previous tenure when he took over from Antonio Conte and continued the Turin giants' dominance, landing the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Serie A titles amid a nine-year stretch of dominance.

This was Allegri's 200th victory for the Bianconeri in all competitions, as he became just the third head coach to reach that mark with Juve since 1929-30 after Giovanni Trapattoni (319 victories) and Marcello Lippi (227). Until Nikola Milenkovic was sent off in the 73rd minute, however, Juventus were up against it.

"Victory boosts our morale and must raise the level of attention for the future even more," Allegri said, quoted on the official Juventus website.

"The starting point for returning to being a team that aims for the top is simply running.

"We need availability and aggression: here we won all our tackles, against Sassuolo not even one.

"The difference is there, because then the team has quality. But we have to be a group on the pitch, which must not forget what we have left in the league so far."

Cuadrado echoed Allegri's assertion that it will be graft that moves this incarnation of Juventus in the right direction.

Juventus have now won 15 of the 16 Serie A matches in which the Colombian has found the net, drawing the other.

"I'm happy with the team's performance," Cuadrado said. "It was important to be ready, we must continue to grow and maintain this attitude in every match.

"Fiorentina played well, they forced us to defend, but defending well helps us to attack better.

"We are a very close team, a family, and this week has brought us together even more. We get up every morning with the desire to be at the top, but we don't have to talk, just work."

Substitute Juan Cuadrado struck in added time against his former club as Juventus finally broke down 10-man opponents Fiorentina to win 1-0 in Saturday's Serie A clash.

Juve were on the verge of going a fourth league game without a victory when Cuadrado, on the field for just 13 minutes, beat Pietro Terracciano at his near post late on.

The hosts had struggled for large parts of the contest but momentum swung in their favour when Nikola Milenkovic was sent off 17 minutes from time.

After Federico Chiesa hit the bar and Alvaro Morata had a goal ruled out for offside, Cuadrado found a way through to lift Juve level on points with their opponents in eighth place.

 

Juventus' players are working to ensure that Cristiano Ronaldo's absence is not felt following the forward's recent move to Manchester United, according to Juan Cuadrado.

Ronaldo scored 101 goals in 134 appearances during a three-year stay at the Allianz Stadium, which surprisingly came to an end in August when he returned to United.

Only Kylian Mbappe (111), Lionel Messi (120) and Robert Lewandowski (143) scored more goals than Ronaldo in all competitions across that period from Europe's top five leagues.

The Portugal captain has made a great start to his second spell at Old Trafford with five goals in as many matches, including a late winner against Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Juventus, meanwhile, have made a slow start to their Serie A campaign and sit 10th after six matches, albeit having won their last two games in the competition.

While acknowledging Ronaldo's importance to the side over the past few years, Cuadrado insists no player can be considered bigger than Juventus. 

"We know his class and what he represented for us," Cuadrado told La Stampa. "But the most important thing is Juventus. We are working to avoid his absence being felt."

 

Juve beat Chelsea 1-0 in the Champions League in midweek to make it three victories on the spin in all competitions ahead of Saturday's Derby della Mole showdown with Torino.

Cuadrado has been involved in four goals in his past three Serie A games against Torino – scoring one and providing three assists – for a tally that is more than any other Juve player since 2020.

Juve have lost only one of their past 30 league meetings with their city rivals – a 2-1 defeat in April 2015 – but Cuadrado is expecting a tough contest this weekend.

"I see them as a more solid team than in the past," Cuadrado said. "It will be a special challenge for us and the fans. A battle.

"But in this moment, any match for us would be important. We are behind where we want to be in terms of points, but there are many more matches to play.

"We believe in ourselves. It is in our DNA to fight until the end."

Massimiliano Allegri revealed Juventus will be without their South American contingent, including Paulo Dybala, and the injured Federico Chiesa as they prepare to face Napoli on Saturday.

Dybala, who has been involved in four goals in his last four league games, heads the absentee list, which also includes Rodrigo Bentancur, Danilo, Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro.

Juve have managed just one point from their opening two Serie A games, only once in their history - Allegri's first spell in 2015-16 – have they failed to win any of their opening three matches.

And matters have worsened for the Old Lady as Allegri confirmed on Friday that the visitors will be without their South American players after their late returns from international duty.

"I decided to leave the South Americans at home because they will return too late," Allegri told Friday's pre-match news conference.

"[Juan] Cuadrado was the only one who could have joined the team, but he suffered stomach flu. He hasn't even returned to Italy. He is in still Colombia to undergo some medical examinations.

"This is the situation, I've never complained about the fixture list. Some players finished their international games at 3am last night and would return to Turin at 11am tomorrow morning.

"We don't want to run the risk they pick up injuries, so they will remain in Turin to work, it makes more sense."

Allegri confirmed Chiesa, too, will not be available for selection after the forward suffered a muscular issue with Italy during the international break.

The 54-year-old is without a win in his last seven league games with his new side, with only three Juve managers ever suffering longer winless streaks in Serie A, but asked for patience as his team look to kick-start their season after two poor showings against Udinese and Empoli.

"Napoli are among the candidates to win the title along with another seven or eight clubs, the season is still long and we need to remain balanced," he continued.

"There are many games, the first two matches didn't go as we expected, but this is football, we must keep things simple and start the season because we haven't started yet."

Surprise substitute Cristiano Ronaldo was denied a winner by VAR deep into stoppage time as Juventus drew 2-2 at Udinese following a pair of Wojciech Szczesny blunders.

Impressive early strikes from Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado looked to have paved the way for a season-opening Serie A success, and a first win of head coach Massimiliano Allegri's second spell in charge of Juventus.

But a mistake by goalkeeper Szczesny was punished from the penalty spot early in the second half, and a desperate clanger in the 83rd minute allowed Gerard Deulofeu to net a dramatic leveller.

In a ripsnorting finish, Udinese almost sneaked a winner, Mato Jajalo firing over in the 90th minute, before Ronaldo headed in a Federico Chiesa cross in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The celebrations were wild, and a euphoric Ronaldo was booked for removing his shirt, before he was left stunned to see the goal disallowed for offside.

Ronaldo and Dybala have contracts that run to the end of this season, and there seems scant prospect of both staying in Turin. Dybala is seemingly keen to remain, Ronaldo less so, and his omission from the starting XI here sparked fresh speculation about his future. 

Juventus took just two minutes and three seconds to surge ahead, their earliest goal in a season opener during the three-points-for-a-win era, which began in 1994-95. 

Giorgio Chiellini was on the bench so Dybala captained the team, and it was the Argentine forward who produced a special finish to catch the hosts cold. Rodrigo Bentancur slid in a low ball from the right and Dybala cleverly flicked the ball across goal into the left corner. 

Dybala then played a key role in the second Juventus goal, which came in the 23rd minute, looping a long pass to Cuadrado, who took his first touch just a couple of strides outside the Udinese penalty area. The Colombian shuffled skilfully past flummoxed Udinese captain Bram Nuytinck and lashed a low shot into the same corner that Dybala had earlier found. 

Juventus looked practically home and hosed at the break, but conceded a penalty in the 50th minute when Szczesny made a poor parry of Tolgay Arslan's shot before bringing down the Udinese man as he chased down the rebound. 

Former Juve man Roberto Pereyra fired the spot-kick into the right corner, before Alvaro Morata headed against the left post at the other end a couple of minutes later, from a chance he would expect to tuck away. 

Allegri saw the game potentially slipping away and sent on Ronaldo, Chiellini and Dejan Kulusevski on the hour mark, Morata among those to make way. Ronaldo soon teed up Bentancur to smash a shot against the right post, and then came the late drama, Juventus left smarting on day one of the new campaign.

Lionel Messi's long wait for major international honours with Argentina is finally over after playing a starring role in their Copa America triumph, winning the Player of the Tournament prize before the final was even played.

In the age-old – and some might say tiresome – 'greatest of all time' debate, the stick usually used to beat Messi with revolved around his lack of titles with Argentina, but that is no longer relevant and he also played a vital role for La Albiceleste.

It was also an important barrier that Argentina broke down as a team, winning their first major international title since 1993.

Messi's performances see him lead Stats Perform's Opta data-driven Team of the Tournament, and he is joined by some familiar names as well as those who enjoyed breakthroughs over the past month.

 

Goalkeeper – Emiliano Martinez (Argentina)

Aston Villa keeper Martinez has enjoyed a remarkable 18 months or so and it's fair to say his form at the Copa America has helped truly cement his place as Argentina's first choice between the posts. His personality proved vital in the penalty shoot-out win over Colombia in the semi-finals as he psyched out Yerry Mina, but he also showed his excellence by finishing with an 85.7 per cent save ratio that was the second best in the tournament, while his four clean sheets was the best tally.

 

Right-back – Juan Cuadrado (Colombia)

Cuadrado can always be relied upon to provide some attacking impetus on the right flank and he certainly didn't disappoint in the Copa, his 18 chances created being the most for Colombia and among the top five of all players. The same could be said of his 22 open-play crosses, while Cuadrado also made 45 recoveries, the second most in Los Cafeteros' squad, highlighting how he was often in the right place to sweep up danger as well.

 

Centre-back – Marquinhos (Brazil)

While Brazil ultimately fell short at the Maracana on Saturday, Marquinhos can leave the tournament with his head held high. His ability to bring the ball out from the back was routinely notable, as highlighted by the fact his 110 carries was bettered by only four players, all of whom are forwards, but he was also a commanding presence at the back, with his 2.8 aerial the most among Brazil players.

Centre-back – Piero Hincapie (Ecuador)

Still only 19, Hincapie showed real promise here. Granted, there were signs that he remains quite raw and naive, as demonstrated by some of his struggles against Argentina in the quarter-finals when he was sent off late on for tugging back Angel Di Maria. Nevertheless, the Lazio-linked talent averaged the most passes per game for Ecuador (52.2) and showed real positivity when in possession, carrying the ball 600.7 metres upfield over the course of the tournament, at least 44m more than any other centre-back.

Left-back – Pervis Estupinan (Ecuador)

Estupinan endured a somewhat underwhelming first season with Villarreal in 2020-21, but in the Copa he showed glimpses of the player that had impressed so regularly with Osasuna the season before. He was consistently a useful outlet on the left and his eagerness to create saw him average more crosses per 90 minutes (9.6) than any other player in the tournament, while his 2.4 key passes each game was the most of all defenders.

Central midfield – Wilmar Barrios (Colombia)

The all-action midfielder performed an important function as Colombia ultimately finished third in the Copa. Barrios was tidy in possession as he looked to keep Reinaldo Rueda's men ticking, completing 88 per cent of his passes, but he was also effective at regaining possession and recovering the ball as he started 76 open play sequences, which only Yoshimar Yotun and Casemiro could better.

Central midfield – Rodrigo De Paul (Argentina)

Get ready to hear a bit more about De Paul over the next few years. While he's by no means an unknown given he's had a strong few years with Udinese, the midfielder is set to join Atletico Madrid and offers the blend of off-the-ball nous and technical ability that should see him thrive under Diego Simeone. His 32 ball recoveries led the way for Argentina while his six key passes was second only to Lionel Messi, with one of those being the glorious long-range pass to release Di Maria for the crucial goal in the final.

Right wing – Lionel Messi (Argentina)

While he may have fluffed his lines at the end of the final, Messi's exploits throughout the tournament previously meant he could be forgiven for that. After all, without his unbeaten four goals and five assists – a high for the tournament – Argentina almost certainly wouldn't have reached the showpiece. He remains one goal behind Pele's record (77) for CONMEBOL nations, but he finally has his first trophy with Argentina, and that's what matters most.

 

Attacking midfield – Neymar (Brazil)

Neymar had a peculiar tournament in some ways. No one would suggest he was poor, because he was routinely the player that provided the spark for Brazil, as evidenced by his tournament-leading 3.5 key passes and 21.6 passes into the final third each game (among players with more than one match played), but he was also wasteful in front of goal, his one non-penalty goal from 5.3 xG giving him the worst xG under-performance (4.3) at the tournament.

 

Left wing – Luis Diaz (Colombia)

Porto's Diaz is an exciting player and showed as much for Colombia as they claimed bronze. He scored more non-penalty goals (four) than any other player and produced some spectacular finishes, such as his remarkable bicycle-kick against Brazil and 30-yard screamer to seal victory in the third-place play-off against Peru. His four goals came from just 10 shots, with that 40 per cent conversion the best among those with three or more goals.

 

Striker – Lautaro Martinez (Argentina)

Despite the presence of Sergio Aguero, Martinez was the man generally chosen to lead the line at the Copa and he did fairly well as he netted three goals, with only Messi and Diaz getting more. While he was guilty of wastefulness at times, his three-goal haul was actually pretty close to his 3.3 xG, showing that for the most part he was dependable. Similarly, only two players averaged more shots on target per 90 minutes (players with more than one match played) than his 1.4. He also improved on his two goals from the 2019 edition, so he's seemingly going in the right direction.

Colombia's winning start to the Copa America ground to a halt as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Venezuela, whose goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez kept La Tricolor's illustrious forwards at bay.

Reinaldo Rueda's side dominated the contest at Olimpico Pedro Ludovico in Goiania but failed to find a way past Venezuela's hardworking keeper.

Rueda restored Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel to his starting line-up but the duo were frustrated as Colombia attempted 12 first-half shots without success.

The introduction of Porto winger Luis Diaz did little to improve their prospects, and he was shown a straight red card in stoppage time as Venezuela battled to a valuable point.

Yerry Mina should have opened the scoring when he stretched to meet Daniel Munoz's cross after 13 minutes but could not poke the ball into the gaping net.

Colombia continued to press and Edwin Cardona drew a good save from Farinez with a low drive from the edge of the box, and Zapata was denied in a one-on-one moments later.

Zapata burst through a line of Venezuela defenders 10 minutes before the interval but his fierce angled shot was parried away well by Farinez.

Farinez's determined display continued in the second half, when he made a fingertip save to push Mateus Uribe's spectacular overhead kick over the crossbar. The goalkeeper made eight saves in total.

The game became fractious as both sides tired, and Diaz was shown a straight red card after a clash with Francisco La Mantia, compounding Colombia's frustration.

What does it mean? Brazil poised to go top

A point for Brazil against Peru on Friday would be enough to send them top of the group, as Colombia rue their missed opportunities to claim what would have been a second win in as many Group B matches.

Cuadrado not to blame

Colombia rely on Juan Cuadrado to provide their strikers with opportunities, and the Juventus wide man did not disappoint, contributing seven key passes.

No repeat of Cardona magic

Cardona scored just before half-time to help Colombia win their Group B opener against Ecuador, but here he laboured and was substituted after 62 minutes with one shot on target to his name.

What's next?

Venezuela face Ecuador in their third Zona Norte match on Sunday, while Colombia take on Peru.

Juventus kept alive their Champions League qualification hopes with a dramatic 3-2 win over Serie A champions Inter in the Derby d'Italia on Saturday. 

Cristiano Ronaldo tapped home after his initial penalty was saved to put Juve ahead midway through the first half, but Romelu Lukaku drew Antonio Conte's side level soon after with a penalty of his own. 

A Giorgio Chiellini own goal seven minutes from full-time cancelled out Juan Cuadrado's earlier strike, but the Colombia international sealed a vital three points for Juve – who had Rodrigo Bentancur dismissed early in the second half – in the 88th minute, powering home from the penalty spot after he had been brought down by Ivan Perisic, whose team-mate Marcelo Brozovic was sent off in stoppage time.

The result moved Andrea Pirlo's side into the top four, although they could be usurped ahead of next weekend's final matchday if Napoli overcome Fiorentina on Sunday.

Juventus wide player Juan Cuadrado has tested positive for coronavirus and will miss the clash with Serie A leaders Milan on Wednesday.

The Colombia international is asymptomatic but has begun a period of self-isolation, the Italian champions confirmed.

The news comes just a day after left-back Alex Sandro was ruled out after returning a positive test for the virus.

It means head coach Andrea Pirlo will be without two of his first-choice full-backs for the game at San Siro against Stefano Pioli's side, who are the only unbeaten team in Europe's top five leagues in the 2020-21 season.

The club said in a statement: "Juventus Football Club announces that, during the checks provided for by the protocol in force, Juan Cuadrado has emerged positive with COVID-19. The player has already been placed in solitary confinement and is asymptomatic."

Cuadrado, 32, has made 13 appearances in Serie A this term, scoring once.

Juve head into the Milan contest with a 10-point deficit to the league leaders, albeit with a game in hand.

While they have lost only once in 14 matches, Juve have won just seven times, leaving them in fifth place with 27 points.

They are hoping to avoid losing back-to-back league games against the Rossoneri for the first time since 2010, having been beaten 4-2 in the previous meeting last July.

The last time they faced Milan when behind them in the table was in November 2015, when a Paulo Dybala goal secured a 1-0 victory.

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