Wojciech Szczesny says playing with Cristiano Ronaldo made him feel like his side were starting matches a goal up, as he rued Juventus' failure to win the Champions League with the Portugual great.

Ronaldo scored 101 goals in 134 appearances in all competitions for Juve between 2018 and 2021, averaging a strike every 113.95 minutes and winning five trophies in Italy.

Juve stumbled to a second consecutive fourth-placed Serie A finish in the 2021-22 season after Ronaldo returned to Manchester United, who themselves toiled in the Premier League, finishing sixth with their worst points tally (58) in the competition, despite the striker's 18 top-flight goals.

Ronaldo failed to add to his five Champions League titles while representing the Bianconeri, and while Szczesny regrets their European exits to Ajax (2019), Lyon (2020) and Porto (2021), he remembers his time playing with the striker fondly.

"[He is] a brilliant footballer, who makes a difference not only on the pitch," Szczesny told Polish newspaper Przeglad Sportowy. "I don't know if there is anyone in the world at his level. 

"When he arrived, however, we didn't see him as a CR7, but as a team-mate. With him, however, I tried things that didn't exist. 

"Entering the field with him, even before the referee whistled for the start, it was like being 1-0 ahead. It was impressive.

"The Champions League was within our reach in the first two seasons, then we went out with teams we shouldn't have lost against. But this is the Champions League."

While Juventus' spell of dominance over Serie A has come crashing to a halt over the last two seasons after they won nine consecutive titles between 2012 and 2020, Szczesny believes Massimiliano Allegri and predecessor Andrea Pirlo did well to secure top-four finishes.

"Sooner or later, it had to end," he said. "After nine years of victories there was a generational change of players. 

"Changing always costs something. However, I believe that Pirlo and Allegri have done a great job getting to Champions League qualification."

Szczesny has made 137 league appearances for Juve since joining in 2017, keeping 50 clean sheets, and is keen to remain in Turin until his contract expires in 2025.

However, the former Arsenal goalkeeper does not expect to get close to the legendary Gianluigi Buffon's tally of 489 Serei A games in the Juventus goal, saying a move to Spain could be on the cards in three years' time.

"I still have three years on my contract and if they want to keep me, I would like to complete it," he added. "Every year there are market rumours, now I worry when new names do not come out for Juventus' goal!

"I won't play as much as he [Buffon] does. I want to stay at Juventus until 2025, then maybe I'll go to Spain where I have a home."

Massimiliano Allegri says the "divine" Paulo Dybala must go back to "being himself" rather than trying to emulate Lionel Messi.

Dybala has decided to leave Juventus when his contract expires at the end of next month and Serie A rivals Inter want to sign him on a free transfer.

The Argentina forward has also been linked with several Premier League sides as he prepares to embrace a new challenge following seven years with Juve.

Bianconeri head coach Allegri believes Dybala's next club will only get the best out of him if he is not trying to emulate his legendary compatriot Messi.

Allegri told DAZN: "He has to go back to being himself, there was a moment when he got carried away by the fact that he was the new Messi.

"A player cannot emulate or think he is like another. He still has a lot to give because he has extraordinary technical qualities, he plays in a divine way."

Captain Giorgio Chiellini is another player whose time in Turin has come to an end.

Allegri says there is no shortage of leaders to step up in the absence of the long-serving centre-back.

He said: "For the future we already have two leaders, [Matthijs] De Ligt and [Manuel] Locatelli.

"Manuel was an excellent signing and could be the future Juventus captain, he has the technical and moral characteristics to stay here for many years.

"This year Danilo was a pleasant surprise: when he speaks he is never banal and puts the team first. A true leader is silent, he must speak little and must always put the team in front.

"And if you do this, it is the team that recognises you as a leader."

Allegri also expects Dusan Vlahovic to become a figurehead for Juve following his big-money move from Fiorentina in January.

"Dusan can also be a leader in his own way. He is loyal, he always wants to win, he will become a charismatic leader on the pitch on a character level."

Vlahovic scored seven goals in 15 Serie A appearances for Juve following his switch from Florence.

Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus will look to bring more experienced players into the squad ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

Juve's disappointing season ended with a whimper on Saturday as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi.

Alfred Duncan opening the scoring for a Fiorentina side who were far and away the superior team, before a late penalty from Nicolas Gonzalez finished the Bianconeri off.

It was the first time Fiorentina have won a Serie A home clash against Juventus since January 2017.

The game marked the end of Giorgio Chiellini, Paulo Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi's Juve careers, and Allegri acknowledged that the club, who have been linked with free transfer moves for Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria, will need to replace their experience.

"I am happy because we have unity of purpose," he told Sky Sport Italia. "We have many players, several will have to leave. Chiellini has stopped, Bernardeschi and Dybala are at the end of their contracts.

"Then there is the transfer market, but everything must be done calmly and clearly. The team must be arranged calmly.

"In the 11 there are already young people, we have five. [Dusan] Vlahovic, [Manuel] Locatelli, [Matthijs] De Ligt, [Federico] Chiesa, and then [Fabio] Miretti is playing well.

"The team grows, it is normal that a mix is ​​needed within the team otherwise with all young people it is more difficult to win.

"Experience is needed. We will need balance in the team."

Juve ended the Serie A season with eight fewer points than they did under the leadership of Andrea Pirlo in his maiden campaign, yet Allegri believes that is not a true representation of what he has achieved since he returned to the club.

"There is a psychological aspect because we had to chase from the start and knew once we lost to Inter and had secured fourth place, the results after that didn't entirely reflect the team and are somewhat false," he added.

"After that push to get back, once the motivation was lacking, we lost intensity.

"We also know that we need to score more goals, play with more intensity, we have to keep the good things from this season and improve those that didn't work as well."

Juventus suffered one final indignation in a disappointing season as Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala ended their Bianconeri careers with a 2-0 defeat at Fiorentina.

Although Juventus have finished fourth in Serie A, this has not been a campaign to remember and this was one more slog, with Alfred Duncan opening the scoring for a Fiorentina side who were far and away the superior team.

The hosts had more to play for, admittedly, with this win securing a place in next season's Europa Conference League.

But for Massimiliano Allegri and his Juventus team, 90 minutes of mediocrity was a dismal to finish, particularly with the long service of Chiellini and Dybala coming to an end at the Artemio Franchi. A late penalty from Nicolas Gonzalez finished them off.

Fiorentina snatched the lead in first-half stoppage time when Juve failed to clear their lines from a ball hoisted hopefully into the box by Sofyan Amrabat

Giacomo Bonaventura prodded the ball away from a cluster of defenders, and Duncan lashed in from 12 yards for his second goal of the season.

Veteran defender Chiellini, having taken a blow to the face that saw blood pour from just above his left eye, was substituted at the break, replaced by Daniele Rugani. It was hardly how he would have wanted to bow out.

Fiorentina had 71.5 per cent of possession in the opening 45 minutes as the Bianconeri turned in a drab display.

Gonzalez then sent two shots just over the Juventus crossbar as Fiorentina pushed for a second goal early in the second half, while Bonaventura was denied a penalty after going down under a challenge from Adrien Rabiot.

Substitute goalkeeper Carlo Pinsoglio, who played the entire second half, kept Juventus in the game with a double save in the 78th minute from Krzysztof Piatek's header and Bonaventura's shot from the rebound. In keeping with the rest of the game, they showed little sign of taking advantage of the lifeline.

When Leonardo Bonucci tripped Lucas Torreira in stoppage time it was an obvious penalty, and Gonzalez made no mistake, finding the bottom-right corner.

Massimiliano Allegri hailed the "heavy legacy" Giorgio Chiellini will leave as the Juventus head coach suggested the centre-back and Paulo Dybala will feature at Fiorentina.

Chiellini confirmed he will leave Juve at the end of the season and was substituted in his final home appearance in the 17th minute on Monday to honour his 17-year spell with the Bianconeri.

The Italy veteran handed the captain's armband to Dybala as he made his way off the pitch, with the forward also heading for the exit door when his contract expires in June.

Dybala, who has 115 goals for the Bianconeri, will leave as the third-highest non-Italian scorer in Juve's history in all competitions, behind only David Trezeguet (171) and John Hansen (124).

Monday's draw with Lazio was expected to be the pair's last appearance for Juve, but Allegri suggested the duo could yet feature in Florence on Saturday, while Weston McKennie might return from injury.

"A good match against a team that has the objective of hitting Europe," he said as he previewed the Fiorentina game on JuventusTV. "We will find a warm environment and we have to have fun.

"Tomorrow I think it will be an open game with many goals. Then usually in the final season in these games there are many goals.

"We will all go to Florence apart from Danilo, [Federico] Chiesa and [Mattia] De Sciglio. Then the others are all available. [Weston] McKennie comes back and maybe he will play a piece of the game."

On Chiellini's departure, Allegri added: "He leaves a heavy legacy because in any case he was an extraordinary player and he still is because he plays tomorrow.

"Also on a moral level he will have left excellent lessons to the players who remain in the locker room."

Juve will end this season with 73 points if they defeat Fiorentina, their worst total in a Serie A campaign since 2010-11 (58).

Allegri is aware that improvements are needed for next season to compete in the Champions League and with the likes of Milan and Inter, who are still vying for the title.

"They are the ones that must have a team that aims to win and that fights for all the goals for which it participates," he said of his team.

"We definitely need to improve this year's season. It's true, but also that we have a good base to start from."

Massimiliano Allegri paid tribute to departing heroes Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala, whose Turin farewells ended in a 2-2 draw against Lazio.

The first half was a celebration, as Dusan Vlahovic put the hosts up 1-0 just 10 minutes in before Alvaro Morata doubled the advantage after 36 minutes.

An Alex Sandro own goal set up a tense finish, though, before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored a dramatic 96th-minute equaliser to put a slight dampener on an emotional evening at the Allianz Stadium.

Despite seeing his side held at home, Allegri only wanted to focus the impact of Chiellini and Dybala to the Bianconeri.

"Tonight was a wonderful evening, full of emotions – the evening of Chiellini and Dybala," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"One stops and has given a lot to world football, out of passion and love of work. A few videos of Chiellini should be sent to Coverciano [Italy's main youth training centre] to show how he defends.

"On a personal and human level, he also left a lot to me when I arrived at Juventus. He introduced me to Juventus and helped me. 

"Dybala was an important player for seven years, I raised him because he was a child and the fans gave a well-deserved tribute. All with great class.

"He has grown a lot, he arrived as a kid, he won the job. He has done great things and I wish him the best. There was so much emotion that I think talking about something else has little value."

Touching on the future of the club, Allegri pointed to some exciting internal development, as well as his theory on what is required at different stages of the season.

"The ideas are clear, then the market can develop in various ways," he said.

"We have to start from the base this year – many will improve like Vlahovic and [Denis] Zakaria. 

"[Fabio] Miretti played with personality and vertically, which drives me crazy. Morata played a good game, the good foundations are there. 

"The matches up to October travel at certain rhythms, from October to March to others. As a child I used to say that when the daisies bloom, the rhythms drop and you need players of great technique. 

"The players must be chosen when they go fast, then to win they must be fast and with great technique."

Leonardo Bonucci will be the new captain of Juventus following the announced departure of Giorgio Chiellini, Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed.

The Bianconeri head coach was speaking ahead of Juve's final home game of the season against Lazio and said he wants to "combine all three things", referring to playing well while saying goodbye to outgoing duo Chiellini and Paulo Dybala.

Chiellini confirmed he will leave Juventus at the end of the season following their 4-2 defeat to Inter in the Coppa Italia final.

The veteran centre-back has spent 17 years with the Bianconeri, winning 20 trophies during his time in Turin.

Dybala is also exiting the Allianz Stadium at the end of the campaign and has been linked with the likes of Inter, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Manchester United.

"It's the last home game, you have to honour it to the fullest. And then it's Giorgio Chiellini's party and Paulo Dybala's last [game], we have to combine all three things," Allegri told reporters at a media conference on Sunday.

"They are two different things. Giorgio stops or has an experience in America, I don't know. Paulo changes team. Both will have the tribute of the fans, as I believe will [Lazio boss, Maurizio] Sarri, who returns and was the last [head coach] to win the Scudetto with Juve."

As for Juve's next skipper, Allegri added: "The new Juventus captain will be Bonucci."

The former Milan boss was also asked about Paul Pogba, who has been linked with a return to Juve once his contract at Manchester United expires next month.

"Pogba is a United player. Before talking about the transfer market, let's finish the season and then we'll take stock with the club," he said. "We don't have to evaluate not only the market but also what happened during the season at 360 degrees.

"[Do I] remember Paul? I have already forgotten, several years have already passed. I have a full memory card."

Allegri was asked to summarise the season, with Juve qualifying for the Champions League but never really challenging in the Serie A title race.

"I'm satisfied with the path and the goal, but not satisfied to have not won a trophy," he said.

"The team has done its best. Even if I always say, 'let's play with those who are here', in the long run we have paid for traumatic injuries: [Federico] Chiesa, [Weston] McKennie, Danilo, Bonucci… We have players who will certainly grow, then with the club we will improve the shortcomings of this team."

Following Wednesday's Coppa Italia final defeat to Inter, it was confirmed Juventus will finish the 2021-22 season without a trophy for the first time since 2011.

Last season under Andrea Pirlo, Juventus not winning Serie A was in itself shocking, but this season has only shown further regression.

Massimiliano Allegri returning to replace Pirlo after his single season in charge was viewed as a means to halt that slide, but Juve will not just likely finish 10 points off the Serie A title winners and without a trophy this term; the Bianconeri are set to finish with a double-digit deficit in a season where the champions will likely will not break the 85-point barrier.

How much the Turin club spend relative to the rest in Italian football must be brought into context. Granted, the financial impact of COVID-19 caused significant restructuring, but they are still the only club in Italy to have a gross annual payroll in excess of €150million and are joined by Inter as one of only two over €100m. Meanwhile, seven Juventus players make up the top 10 salaries in Serie A this season.

Given that comparatively gaudy expenditure, that represents a spectacular failure – especially in comparison to the likes of the notoriously thrifty Atalanta or this Milan project that has sought to maximise value on the pitch and cut unnecessary spending. The major issue with Juve over the past four seasons has been a dramatically diminishing return on investment, but how has it manifested on the pitch?

Juventus had this inevitable capacity to find a way to win games in Allegri's first stint, but they were still volatile. It would be misguided to look at this season in isolation when in a continuum. Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival for the 2018-19 season – which was viewed as the key signing to propel them to long-awaited Champions League glory – arguably accelerated the regression.

Real Madrid's midfield and Karim Benzema allowed Ronaldo to have a largely singular role as the end point to the team's actions in possession. At Juventus, a player who was largely a finisher and was not going to force defensive collapses between the lines by that point had to take on greater responsibility in the team's build-up. Despite the Portuguese star's stature in the game, he was effectively signed for a task on the pitch he was not capable of fulfilling.

Consider that in his last season at Madrid, Ronaldo was averaging 46.87 touches per 90, and 10.02 were in the opposition's penalty area. The next two seasons at Juventus saw a dramatic shift, where for touches per 90 he averages 54.5 and 56.26 respectively. Touches in the penalty area actually decreased, however, at 6.64 and 6.92 respectively per 90.

With Paulo Dybala as the team's attacking focal point, Miralem Pjanic had previously mitigated the deeply conservative nature of Juve's midfield, but with Ronaldo it became a bridge too far. Ronaldo might have sustained his goal involvements, but it came at the expense of the collective. The Bianconeri came no closer to winning the continental silverware he was brought to Turin to secure but, more importantly, declined domestically and were suddenly challenged for what had become a fait accompli that decade in Serie A.

Pjanic's departure at the end of 2019-20 further accelerates that regression, despite the arrivals of Arthur, Alvaro Morata, Federico Chiesa and Weston McKennie that off-season, as well as Adrien Rabiot, Mathijs de Ligt and Dejan Kulusevski the previous off-season.

Arguably, the additions of Rabiot, McKennie and Arthur have only further reinforced the rigidity of Juve's midfield over the years. Pjanic's final season saw him average 1.21 chances from open play per 90, along with 10.34 passes into the final third and 0.13 for expected assists at 92.66 touches. Not one Juventus midfielder since has been able to match all of those averages individually, and trying to replace them in an aggregate creates different requirements elsewhere.

 

Amid Dybala's increasingly marginalised status upon Ronaldo's arrival, it necessitated someone like Morata, whose fantastic movement and ability to incorporate the players around him is paired with erratic finishing in front of goal. It represents a sizeable trade-off. Still, Morata leads the Bianconeri for chances created (1.63) in open play per 90 in all competitions this season.

That provides some context for this season and Dusan Vlahovic's arrival, because he is almost the opposite to Morata – cold-blooded in front of goal, but much less flexible in build-up play and movement off the ball. Yet, while he creates fewer chances in open play (0.81) than Morata, the quality of his shots (0.13 xG per shot) is still lower than Morata's average of 0.16.

 

 

It all matters because, with the exception of Inter and Lazio, the Bianconeri still keep more of the ball than anyone else in Serie A. They both can and cannot afford for their midfield to be so palpably one-dimensional. While Juventus rank 19th across the top five leagues in Europe for touches per 90 (678.46) in all competitions, they rank 32nd for big chances created per 90 (1.56), and 50th for passes into the final third (53.02), calling into question the nature of their possession and how they actually generate their chances.

With that all in context, it can be difficult to definitively assess someone like Fabio Miretti or where he best suits in a system of play, because it is akin to developing an emotional attachment to a captor.

Yet Dybala's forthcoming departure from Turin at the end of this season is symbolic, let alone if he ends up somewhere else in Serie A.

His career trajectory over the past four years, coinciding with Juve's regression and eventual embarrassment of this season, represents how badly the club have managed squad composition and, to reference Jose Mourinho's famous quote, their Champions League dream that became an obsession. As such, they have lacked anything resembling a plan or clarity, and have been blindly led by ambition to this empty-handed season.

Juventus great Gianluigi Buffon expressed his hopes that Giorgio Chiellini can end his Bianconeri career on a high note by defeating Inter in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday.

Massimiliano Allegri's Juve will look to defend their Coppa Italia crown at the Stadio Olimpico and become the fifth team in Europe's top five leagues to win their respective domestic cup at least 15 times.

The clash with Simone Inzaghi's Inter – who have won their last two games against Juve, as many wins as in the previous 13 (D4, L7) – could prove to be Chiellini's final swansong.

The veteran centre-back is widely expected to leave Turin at the end of the season and has been linked with a move to the MLS before using his vast experience to go into management.

Former team-mate Buffon marked his 685th and final appearance for Juve with victory over Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final last season, and the goalkeeper hopes Chiellini can follow suit.

"Chiello was my rock," Parma man Buffon told Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport

"He was, and still is, a friend I shared a good chunk of my life with. Far more than a player or simply a team-mate. We understood each other perfectly, we were aware of our strengths and limitations.

"Chiello is so demanding with himself and others, he is an example of where intelligence, hard work, dedication and passion can let you reach unthinkable heights.

"He will admit, he was not the most technically gifted player, but I cannot think of a better defender over the last 10 years.

"I hope he can leave Juve the way I did by lifting the Coppa Italia trophy."

Another ex-Juve colleague Andrea Barzagli added that the Bianconeri will be significantly weakened without Chiellini to call upon.

"Even off the pitch, Chiellini gives a sense of belonging to Juve," Barzagli said.

"Looking at him, you understand what winning teams are made of; you need to be a great person before being a great player. He is one of the greatest defenders in the history of the club.

"He is a complete defender. If this is the end for him at Juve, then the team will miss his leadership."

Should Juve succeed against Inter, Allegri will become the first manager in Coppa Italia history to win the trophy five times, surpassing Sven-Goran Eriksson and Roberto Mancini (both four).

Massimiliano Allegri compared Dusan Vlahovic's recent goalscoring drought to Cristiano Ronaldo's early struggles with Juventus as they prepare for the Coppa Italia final with Inter.

Juve will attempt to salvage silverware from a disappointing season when they face Inter at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday. The Nerazzurri beat Juve 2-1 in the Supercoppa Italiana back in January.

The Bianconeri's hopes of regaining the Scudetto have long since evaporated, with Juve 11 points behind leaders Milan with two Serie A games to play.

They have at least secured Champions League football for next season, despite a run of form from Vlahovic that has seen him fail to score in any of the past four games in all competitions.

But Allegri is backing their marquee January signing from Fiorentina to fire in the final, while drawing a comparison with Ronaldo's slow start to life in Turin, which saw the Portugal star go the opening three Serie A games of his Juve career without scoring.

Asked in his pre-match media conference about Serbia national coach Dragan Stojkovic's prediction that Vlahovic would score in the final, Allegri responded: "I hope he scores two! Not just one.

"Vlahovic is doing well and is serene. Sometimes he asks too much of himself. He is worthy of Juventus and he can improve next season.

"He has been scoring a decent amount of goals. In Italy, it isn't easy to score a goal per game.

"When Ronaldo arrived, he didn't score for five or six games. If Vlahovic looks upset, it means that he cares about what he does."

Luigi Delneri was the last Juve coach to end a season without a trophy, doing so in 2010-11. Allegri is keen to avoid that fate at the end of a season impacted by Ronaldo's departure to Manchester United.

"The team had a bad start, but we reached an important result because playing the Champions League every season is crucial," said Allegri.

"We'll try to improve things and be ready to start again from next season.

"You all know that seeing Ronaldo leave with only three days remaining in the summer transfer window wasn't easy. I had to know the team as well. Then we lost Federico Chiesa.

"We faced a few difficult moments. On the other hand, we have improved and qualified for the Champions League round of 16. The club helped us by signing Dusan Vlahovic in January, but our run was stopped against Inter last month.

"Now I know the players and the staff, I am sure that next season we'll have more chances to win our main target, the Scudetto. It would be nice to win tomorrow, end the season in the best way and prepare for the next one."

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri added his voice to those congratulating Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid on their extraordinary win against Manchester City in the Champions League semi-finals.

Los Blancos were 5-3 down on aggregate heading into the 90th minute at the Santiago Bernabeu before two goals from substitute Rodrygo forced extra time, and a Karim Benzema penalty sent Madrid through to the final, where they will meet Liverpool in Paris.

The victory marked the fifth time Ancelotti has guided a team to the Champions League final, the most of any manager in the competition's history, surpassing the four by Alex Ferguson, Marcello Lippi and his upcoming opponent in the French capital, Jurgen Klopp.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Juve's game with relegation-threatened Genoa, Allegri was inevitably asked about Wednesday's remarkable game.

"It was a wonderful match," he said. "I have to congratulate Carlo Ancelotti because he did something extraordinary."

Focusing on his own team's goals, Allegri explained that while he is relieved to have secured Champions League football for next season after nearest rivals Roma could only draw 0-0 with Bologna on Sunday, he wants Juve to continue to set high standards, especially as they prepare for next week's Coppa Italia final against Inter.

"From now to the end of the championship we must try to score as many points as possible. We reached the minimum goal of fourth place with three matches to go, and we are happy with that. [Thursday] we will have to play a good match.

"The Coppa Italia is our goal [now]. At the start of the season, all competitions must be a goal. We will play this match on Wednesday and we are happy to be there."

The former Milan boss also insisted he will play the strongest team he can against Genoa as preparation for the clash with Inter, though did confirm that Danilo and Luca Pellegrini will be missing.

"Tomorrow our strongest line-up will be on the pitch. Danilo will rest and will be back with the team on Sunday morning. Pellegrini has an ankle injury and will not be available.

"Juan Cuadrado and Mattia De Sciglio will return."

Allegri was also asked about the impact of Dusan Vlahovic, January's big-money signing from Fiorentina who has seven goals in 17 appearances across all competitions since joining the Bianconeri.

"I am very happy with Vlahovic. I didn't expect him to be able to immerse himself so well in the team and in Juventus. He has done very well so far and I am really satisfied.

"He, like others, can only get better. Tomorrow he will likely play."

Massimiliano Allegri declared Juventus are on the "right path" after a difficult season as they edge closer to securing Champions League qualification.

Juve are eight points clear of fifth-placed Roma with four games left to play in Serie A as the Bianconeri prepare to host Venezia on Sunday.

Coach Allegri returned to Turin for the 2021-22 season and endured a difficult start to the campaign, but recovered with a 16-game unbeaten league run that ended in a 1-0 defeat to Inter earlier in April.

That undefeated streak somewhat eased the pressure on Allegri and Juve, who crashed out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage following a dismal second-leg performance against Villarreal.

Juve president Andrea Agnelli expressed his support on Thursday for the long-term plan under Allegri, who was grateful for the backing of the Bianconeri chief.

"We had a difficult start this season, then we adjusted," Allegri told reporters on Saturday at a pre-match news conference ahead of the Venezia clash.

"We have several players out, we need to try to finish well, to start next season in the best possible way. There could be room for a few youngsters, let's see.

"The president's words pleased me. Juventus have won a lot in the last 10 years and have done well in Europe; we need to try to win as soon as possible, we have laid a good foundation this year.

"In Italy there is a tendency to 'knock down' the coaches quickly, in England there is a different mentality, then it is clear that in the end results count.

"However, this year we have set up ourselves well. We're on the right path.

"When you don't win, you have regrets. As the president rightly said, it has been a difficult season. But we also see the positive side: from the way we started, we have since done many good things, especially lately.

"Third place would be important, especially considering our position in January or even earlier. We made good thereafter, however, we must now consolidate our qualification for the Champions League."

Allegri also outlined his regrets for how Juve performed against Villarreal in the Champions League, and is eyeing redemption in the Coppa Italia final against Inter on Wednesday, May 11.

"If I have to choose a game I would like to replay, I would say the Champions League," he added.

"We will analyse everything at the end of the season, to see what went well and what didn't. In the meantime let's think about our Champions League qualification and the Italian Cup."

Massimiliano Allegri has his sights set on a third-placed finish in Serie A after Juventus came from behind to beat Sassuolo 2-1.

The Bianconeri snatched all three points at MAPEI Stadium – Citta del Tricolore on Monday to take a big stride towards qualifying for the Champions League after Giacomo Raspadori opened the scoring.

Paulo Dybala equalised just before half-time and Moise Kean came off the bench to win it in the 88th minute.

Victory for Juve moved them eight points ahead of fifth-placed Roma with four games to play and just a point adrift of third-placed Napoli.

Defeat was harsh on Sassuolo, who posed a big threat going forward with Domenico Berardi, who has now assisted 12 goals in Serie A, the most of any forward in the competition in a single campaign since Ronaldinho in 2009-10, a constant menace.

Juve boss Allegri, who brought Dusan Vlahovic and Giorgio Chiellini on early in the second half but left Matthijs de Ligt on the bench as he has been suffering with illness, says there can be no let-up from his players in their remaining fixtures.

He said: "We have Napoli one point ahead of us. We hope to play well and try to overcome them, as we hoped to fight after the many positive results to be closer to those in the lead but we didn't succeed.

"Now we have to do the best we can from now to the end."

Juve had a tough start to the season, but Allegri is pleased with the strides they have made early in his second spell with the club, having seen his team win 16 points from losing positions in Serie A this season – with only Inter (19) having earned more.

He said: "We are doing a good job. I think Juve have laid a good foundation for the future and I think there are players with room for improvement, there are those who arrived in January.

"We need to understand that Juve are working in a certain way and I think there is a good basis.

"How we work every day, we know it inside and we are trying to do a good job every day, the seasons sometimes are born in one way, they end in another, there are situations like injuries, now we have five.

"[Federico] Chiesa has been out for so long, [Weston] McKennie the same, they have characteristics that we needed, I think the team is doing well. The team is adapting and doing well, maybe at the beginning of this race we would have lost this game and tonight the boys won it, there are also positive signs."

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri has warned his players of the technical ability of Sassuolo, saying they will suffer metaphorical "broken bones" if they do not match them.

The Bianconeri are in a strong position to seal Champions League qualification, and could cement their place in the top four further on Monday.

Juve sit in fourth place in Serie A, five points ahead of Roma in fifth having played a game fewer, with the Giallorossi losing 3-1 at league leaders Inter on Saturday.

Speaking at a media conference on Sunday, Allegri said: "Tomorrow it will be difficult because Sassuolo is a technical team, in an excellent position in the table and comes from a defeat.

"We will need a serious technical game, otherwise we risk going out with broken bones."

In the 17 previous Serie A games between Sassuolo and Juventus, there have been 12 wins for the Old Lady, three draws and two defeats, including in the reverse fixture this season in Turin.

Only in one season (two draws in 2019-20) have Sassuolo managed to remain unbeaten in both league meetings against Juve.

While not literally referring to injuries with that "broken bones" comment, Allegri did later provide updates on the fitness of some of his players, giving hope for Weston McKennie and Arthur, but seeming to cast doubt on whether Manuel Locatelli will play again this season.

"Today, after training, I will make the decisions on the midfield and beyond," he told reporters. "Arthur does not recover, we hope he is available for the Venezia game.

"As for Weston McKennie, yesterday he took his first running steps. He is improving. Manuel Locatelli, finally, is behind and I don't know if he will return before the end of the season. 

"[Matthijs] De Ligt will certainly play in defence, while I will choose one between [Leonardo] Bonucci and [Giorgio] Chiellini. Up front, I will also evaluate [Alvaro] Morata, we will see."

Massimiliano Allegri says he could not ask for any more from his Juventus players after they booked their Coppa Italia final spot with a 3-0 aggregate victory over Fiorentina on Wednesday. 

The Bianconeri claimed a 1-0 win in the first leg last month, and Federico Bernardeschi doubled their advantage in the tie with a fine finish shortly after the half-hour mark in the return fixture. 

Danilo added a second deep into stoppage time at the end of the game as Juve reached their 21st Coppa Italia final – at least five more than any other side in the competition's history. 

They will play Inter in the final at the Stadio Olimpico on May 11 after Simone Inzaghi's side overcame Milan in their last-four tie.  

Juve did not have it all their own way, with Fiorentina taking 17 shots and enjoying 68.3 per cent possession, but Allegri was pleased with how his side bounced back from the disappointing 1-1 draw with Bologna at the weekend. 

"I could not ask for more from these players, as for the last four months it's basically been the same players all the time. They're giving it everything out there," he told Mediaset. 

"We should congratulate the lads, as reaching the final was an objective for the season. It had been a tough few days after the draw with Bologna, when we failed to make the most of many chances. 

"Fiorentina are dangerous with their passing and pace if you give them a chance to run at you, but we did well to create those spaces in attack and defend well. 

"This is football, we suffered and won. Those who came off the bench all did really well, we had a team spirit to reach this final. 

"Now we must prepare for the next game in Serie A and try to recover some players." 

 

Allegri's position as Juve boss has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, with some supporters unimpressed by the club's failure to challenge for the Serie A title. 

While Allegri shares that frustration, he says he has every intention of being in the dugout as they look to launch a title bid next season. 

"Juventus must always challenge to win," he added. "The thing that most disappoints me is losing the head-to-head with Inter, because that is the result that decided the league. 

"Being five games from the end and not being in the Scudetto race does annoy me. It can be motivation for next season, we can learn from that experience and also realise that in football and life you can't always win." 

Juve are next in action on Monday when they visit Sassuolo in Serie A. 

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