New Telegraph

Serie A: Results improving but Juve still not back in the groove


In a season of many more downs than ups, three successive wins without conceding a goal in all competitions is a positive for Juventus ahead of their trip to Venezia on Saturday, but their performances are still causing concern.

Massimiliano Allegri’s return to Juve for a second spell as coach has not gone to plan, with the Old Lady sitting 11 points behind leaders AC Milan going into the weekend’s fixtures.

That gap has narrowed in recent weeks, however, with back-to-back league wins and a 1-0 victory over Malmo in the Champions League.

That win over the Swedish side on Tuesday left supporters feeling frustrated, however, such was their team’s wastefulness in front of goal and inability to make their pressure count.

Allegri is fully aware that all is not quite right still.

“In the (Champions League) group there was Chelsea who are European champions, and we still deserved first place,” Allegri said.

“Now we have to think about the league, as tonight’s performance will not be enough to match Venezia at the weekend.”

Serie A leaders Milan did not enjoy such a positive a result in Europe as they dropped out of the Champions League following a home loss to Liverpool.

Their league form has been much more positive as they chase their first Scudetto since 2010-11, with last weekend’s win over Salernitana taking them clear at the top for the first time this season ahead of Saturday’s trip to Udinese.

Injuries, however, are becoming a problem. With a host of key players on the sidelines, Denmark defender Simon Kjaer dealt coach Stefano Pioli another blow after he was ruled out for what could be the rest of the season with a ligament injury.

Champions Inter Milan have quietly crept back into the title race, winning four in a row in Serie A to climb above Napoli into second, two points behind their city rivals, with Cagliari up next at San Siro.

Napoli, who have lost two of their last four having gone unbeaten in their opening 12 matches this season, host Empoli on Sunday and in-form Atalanta travel to Hellas Verona.

*Courtesy: Reuters

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