Dusan Vlahovic’s performance in Juventus’ surprise 2-1 loss to Genoa in Serie A on Friday was defended by Massimiliano Allegri.
Serbia international Vlahovic appeared unhappy on the bench after being replaced by Alvaro Morata in the 74th minute at Marassi with Juve in front through Paulo Dybala’s goal.
However, Albert Gudmundsson equalised and Domenico Criscito completed an incredible turnaround for relegation-threatened Genoa in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time.
Vlahovic only had one shot on goal and 25 touches during his time on the pitch, but Allegri insisted he was impressed by the 22-year-old’s display.
The Juve boss said the striker was only withdrawn because he had one eye on the Coppa Italia final against Inter on Wednesday.
“He had one of his best matches on a technical level. I’m very happy with how he played technically,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.
“I tried to explain it before, but I was attacked like I was the one ruining Vlahovic. He’s not played many matches in Serie A and we must find a balance. Sometimes I say things but they don’t understand or they pretend not to understand.
“He maybe doesn’t realise it was a good performance, but slowly he will find a balance. He will find the ability to play at the right pace on a mental level. These are steps he must take.
“He feels like it’s his fault because he didn’t score, but that’s not the case. I’ll tell him his game was technically good. If he always played like this, it would be good for the team.”
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Moise Kean made his first Serie A start since March 12 but failed to take any of the six chances that came his way, including one with the goal gaping two minutes before Criscito’s winner.
“Sometimes he scores with a half-chance, tonight he didn’t score with five or six chances. Sometimes things go well, and sometimes you have many chances and don’t score,” said Allegri.
“He has a lot of experience but sometimes he does too much – he has to play simple and not use up too much energy in little duels that don’t really help the team.”
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Genoa moved one point behind Salernitana and Serie A safety thanks to the victory, which saw Criscito score a penalty just six days after missing one – also taken in the 96th minute – in a 1-0 loss to arch-rivals Sampdoria.
“Football gives and it takes away. Tonight it gave me so much. It’s incredibly emotional after the disappointment of last weekend,” Criscito told DAZN.
“I arrived at Genoa in 2001. It is my life. I’m happy to be here. I love Genoa.”
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