Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri said he needs to “find goals” from his midfielders in the new year after his side beat Cagliari 2-0 to bring 2021 to a close.
Goals from Moise Kean and the superb Federico Bernardeschi were enough to get the Bianconeri over the line. Although, the visitors did give the hosts one or two scares with the score at 1-0.
Tuesday night’s victory means Juve rounded off the calendar year six games unbeaten in all competitions. They’ve won four of their last five in Serie A – all by a 2-0 scoreline, no less.
“At 1-0 we relax and sit a bit too deep”
Allegri was satisfied with the win, but he noted that his side still have a lot to improve, “both in defence and up front.”
“Sometimes at 1-0 we relax and sit a bit too deep,” the boss admitted. “But that’s not good in the long run, we play arrogantly in those situations and I don’t like it.”
That’s been a serious issue for Juventus this term, and the Bianconeri could’ve been pegged back in their last two outings after they let their slender lead slip at Venezia.
On Saturday, Bologna were able to sustain a lengthy period of pressure at the start of the second half, but they were unable to fashion a high-quality chance. Then, against Cagliari, Juventus were in total command before they inexplicably surrendered two gilt-edged chances that should’ve been converted.
Allegri laments the lack of goals from midfield
A particular gripe Allegri has had this season is the lack of goals from midfield. Juventus have scored just 27 times in 18 Serie A matches (11th-best in the division) with their top scorers, Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala, scoring five times each.
Goals from midfield is an issue Allegri will seek to solve in the new year.
He told DAZN Italy (via JuveFC): “Arthur doesn’t score many goals, Locatelli, I think he scored three. McKennie and Rabiot must score more. I asked the lads to shoot a lot from outside the area, Bernardeschi did it two or three times. We definitely need to find goals from midfielders.”
Manuel Locatelli has scored twice this season, as has Weston McKennie. The rest, Adrien Rabiot, Arthur Melo and Rodrigo Bentancur are yet to open their accounts.
The manager appears particularly frustrated by Rabiot’s lack of production. He has persistently praised the Frenchman’s qualities since returning to the club and handed him an extended run in the side (with little return).
After Tuesday’s game, Allegri said: “I think Adrien [Rabiot] can really do damage with his shot from distance, but perhaps it’s because he plays internationally for France in a two-man midfield, he just doesn’t make the right movements or has the right timing to get the shot away.
“He didn’t read the game well at all today and we have to do a great deal of work with him,” the manager added, as he confirmed the midfielder was taken off at half-time due to an ankle sprain.