Agnelli 'ashamed' of Juve, but Allegri's job safe for now

By Sports Desk October 11, 2022

Andrea Agnelli was "ashamed" of Juventus' performance in their shock defeat to Maccabi Haifa, but Massimiliano Allegri still has the club's backing.

Juve slipped to a 2-0 defeat in Israel on Tuesday, leaving their chances of progressing from Champions League Group H hanging by a thread.

Maccabi's win ended a run of nine consecutive Champions League defeats and was just their third triumph in the competition, with the other two coming in the 2002-03 season.

Juve, meanwhile, have lost four of their last six group games in the competition, as many defeats as they had suffered in their previous 34 matches. This was the first time they have lost three of their first four group games in a single campaign.

But Allegri retains the support of Agnelli, who insisted the coach cannot be blamed for Juve's issues.

"This is a difficult night in a difficult period. It is one of the most difficult periods and the moment to take responsibility, which is why I am here," said Agnelli to Sky Sport after the match.

"In a situation like this, it's not about one person. It's a matter to be dealt with by a whole group. We feel ashamed, we apologise to our fans, because we know they must feel ashamed to walk around at the moment.

"Allegri is the coach of Juventus, and he will remain as the coach of Juventus."

Asked if Allegri was keeping his role just because of the financial implications of sacking him, Agnelli replied: "No, you are completely off track.

"It cannot be the fault of the coach if we don't win a single tackle on the field.

"Juventus have always evaluated situations at the end of the year. I always struggled to consider a dismissal during a season, and I continue to believe that."

Having taken 13 points from their opening nine Serie A matches, Juve are 10 adrift of pacesetters Napoli, while the Bianconeri have won just two of their nine games in all competitions since the start of September.

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    Italy must be "meaner" when they face Spain in Thursday's heavyweight Group B clash after starting Euro 2024 with an unconvincing win over Albania, says Luciano Spalletti. 

    The Azzurri were stunned by the fastest goal in European Championship history on Saturday as Nedim Bajrami put them behind within just 23 seconds, but goals from Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella saw them rally for a 2-1 win.

    The defending champions enjoyed 68.3 per cent of the possession, created five big chances to Albania's two and recorded 34 touches in the penalty area to their opponents' seven. 

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    After seeing Group B rivals Spain thrash Croatia 3-0 earlier on Saturday, former Napoli boss Spalletti knows more will be needed from Italy next time out.

    "There are a number of things we still have to improve because we thought we were better than we were in too many situations," Spalletti told reporters.

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    "Because they tend to be more aggressive in their bite and press, there might be greater scope to actually play in behind their defensive line."

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    Italy won their opening match at the European Championships for a third straight time (also in 2016 and 2020 editions), after doing so only twice in their first eight such appearances (D5 L1).

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    "We saw many good things, but they need to actually take us somewhere, otherwise they are pointless," the Italy head coach told RAI Sport.

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