Juventus have started the season perfectly, earning a maximum six points out of six from their first two matches. Goals from Miralem Pjanic and Mario Mandzukic sealed a comfortable win at home to Lazio. However manager Massimiliano Allegri knows that with Champions League football just around the corner, his entire team will need to step up to the challenge, not just the starting XI.
After the match Allegri addressed his team's performance, saying (via Football Italia): “It was a different game to Chievo, but above all at the start we were a little hasty. The danger today was to get swept up in the enthusiasm of the stadium for Cristiano Ronaldo’s first at the Stadium and we should’ve had more patience.
“Without Dybala, it becomes more difficult to pass between the lines, but after a while we defended well and did far better in the second half.
“I’m happy with the performance, it was our first head-to-head with one of the other big clubs and it went well.
“At times we fall asleep, at others we get frenetic, whereas we need more balance throughout. The spaces did open up after a while and we should’ve accelerated when the opponents were more fatigued.''
Allegri went on to express the importance of having a strong squad, not just a strong first eleven, adding: ''It’s one game per week in the first three rounds, but from September 15 onwards there will be midweek Champions League games too and naturally we’ll need everyone. The important thing is that those who come off the bench contribute in the right way.
“I have a very strong squad and have to evaluate everyone. We needed these characteristics in midfield today, but I could take a different approach to Parma.''
Perhaps the only problem for Juventus and Allegri is the form of talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who is yet to score his first goal in a competitive fixture for the Serie A champions. On Ronaldo's performance, Allegri made some pragmatic comments stating, “Italian football is completely different to in Spain, Ronaldo understands that, and he is settling in very well. He’s a very humble guy and I’m very pleased with the impact he’s made so far.”
Juventus' next fixture is a visit to newly promoted Parma, who have yet to win this season.