Dusan Vlahovic was not missed at Fiorentina after departing for Juventus in January, according to his former team-mate Nicolas Gonzalez.

Vlahovic scored 20 goals in 24 appearances for Vincenzo Italiano's side in the first half of last season, becoming one of European football's hottest properties and earning a reported €80million (£66.6m) move to Juve.

The Serbia international scored nine goals in 21 appearances for the Bianconeri following his big-money switch.

Vlahovic's decision to join rivals Juve sparked outrage at Fiorentina, who had already seen the likes of Federico Chiesa, Juan Cuadrado, Roberto Baggio and Christian Vieri, move to Turin.

Gonzalez, who finished as Fiorentina's second-highest goalscorer after Vlahovic in the 2021-22 season with eight goals in all competitions, gave a frank answer when asked about the impact of the striker's departure.

"His absence was not felt," the winger told SportItalia. "Obviously he is a strong player, but the fans did not like his attitude. 

"He is a young boy who has a lot to learn."

 

Gonzalez has won 21 caps for Argentina, and featured from the bench during his 3-0 rout of Italy at Wembley earlier this month.

He hopes his international team-mate Angel Angel Di Maria, a reported target for Juve, will join him in Serie A.

 Gonzalez said: "I'd like to see him in Italy. He's a player I've always appreciated, and he could give a lot to Italian football."

The 24-year-old would also like to see Paulo Dybala stay in Italy, saying: "I'd like to see him at Inter with [Joaquin] Correa and Lautaro [Martinez]."

Dusan Vlahovic believes comparisons with former Juventus striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic are "unfair", with the Serbia international wanting to focus on his own career.

The evergreen Ibrahimovic played for Juve for two seasons between 2004 and 2006, lifting the Scudetto in back-to-back campaigns.

Ibrahimovic has since returned to Milan – via Inter, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and LA Galaxy – and helped to end the Rossoneri's 11-year wait for the Scudetto this season.

Vlahovic swapped Fiorentina for Juve in a big-money move in January, managing 10 goal involvements in his 21 outings in all competitions – two more than any Bianconeri team-mate since he made his debut.

The former Viola talisman offers Massimiliano Allegri's side a notable point of difference up top, with his physicality and strength in contrast to the diminutive figure of the outgoing Paulo Dybala.

That has led to comparisons between Vlahovic and Sweden veteran Ibrahimovic, but the former is uninterested in the debate surrounding the pair.

"Comparing players with great champions who have scored 400, 500 goals in their careers, who have won 20 or 30 titles, is probably a little unfair!," Vlahovic told The Telegraph.

"It doesn't annoy me but it's also true that when those types of comparison are made and then you make one or two mistakes and the expectations have been hyped then you get critiqued.

"We all have the right to make mistakes; we are all human. I want to have my own career."

While Juve convinced Vlahovic to move to Turin in January, Premier League side Arsenal were also among his suitors, but the striker insists he never spoke to the Gunners about a transfer.

"Maybe my agent knows [about Arsenal's offer] but I never talked to anyone about it," he continued.

"I just had one club in my mind because Juventus is Juventus. There is nothing else to say, and now I feel honoured to be given this jersey. It's incredible every time I put it on.

"I definitely identify with their DNA. The Juventus personality coincides with my personality. When you come here you never give up, you fight all the time, you make the sacrifices. This was definitely what I was looking for."

Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic claims he has an "addiction" to scoring goals.

The Serbia international has certainly done a good job of feeding that addiction, bagging 38 goals in 58 Serie A appearances for Fiorentina in the past two seasons before scoring seven in 15 for Juve following his big-money move in January.

Vlahovic joined the Bianconeri from Fiorentina for a reported fee of €70million and settled well into life in Turin, helping his new side clinch fourth place and a Champions League spot.

Speaking to Icon Magazine, the 22-year-old did not hold back when asked what scoring goals means to him.

"It's something that fills me," he said. "It pervades me completely, so when I don't feel this emotion, after the game, I feel on the ground, empty.

"It feels like flying. I feel in seventh heaven, I fly. It's a kind of fuel, and once you've tried it, you have to have more, and then again, you have to live that emotion at all costs. It is an addiction that stimulates you at all times. That's what I live for."

 

Vlahovic arrived with a big reputation and reached double figures for goal involvements in all competitions in his 21 outings for Juve in the second half of the 2021-22 season.

His 10 goals and assists combined were at least two more than any other Juve player between his debut in early February and the end of the campaign.

"I dedicate myself to football 24 hours a day, seven days a week," he added, "and when I go home, what do I do? I watch football games.

"I watch them to have fun, to relax, but also to learn and improve. I notice things, analyse them and think about them."

Federico Chiesa is relishing the chance to link up with Dusan Vlahovic at Juventus next season, with the winger confirming he is on course to return to action in September. 

Italy international Chiesa has not played since sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Roma in January that subsequently required surgery.

The 24-year-old, one of the stars of Italy's triumphant Euro 2020 campaign last year, is back in the early stages of training but will not rush his recovery programme.

"My dream is to return as soon as possible, but there are schedules to be respected," he said at a Save The Children event in Turin on Friday.

"The Juventus medical staff have been fantastic, helping me with everything. Now I have started to run and make changes of direction.

"By the beginning of September I hope to be ready, but let's see if we can shorten the times a little. We have to make sure there are no relapses."

Chiesa made 18 appearances for Juventus in his second season with the club prior to being struck down by injury, scoring four goals and assisting two more.

His injury coincided with the signing of Vlahovic, whom he previously played alongside at Fiorentina, though the pair have yet to play together in the Bianconeri strip.

Vlahovic arrived in Turin with a big reputation and reached double figures for goal involvements in his 21 outings for Juve in the second half of last season.

Indeed, his 10 goals and assists combined were at least two more than any other Juve player between his debut in early February and the end of the campaign.

 

"We've already paired up and he is someone I get on with very well on the pitch," Chiesa said of Vlahovic. "He's a friend off it and that only makes things better on the pitch.

"I can't wait to play with him and provide him with some balls to score a few more goals."

Chiesa's injury lay-off was also a huge blow for Italy, who suffered a shock qualifying play-off defeat to North Macedonia in March to miss out on Qatar 2022.

And with Italy having failed to qualify for successive World Cups for the first time, either side of winning the European Championships, Chiesa accepts changes are required.

"[Roberto] Mancini and those who work with him know better than me. But we need change, new and fresh players," he said. 

"We also need to change the Italian system, because the truth is that we are behind the other nations. The coach is right, the players in Italy don't play.

"Is the problem that there is no talent or training? We have to start asking ourselves these questions and change our mentality a bit. I think Mancini is the best person for the job.

"He did it after the first collapse by taking us to the top of Europe after missing the World Cup. So Mancini is the most suitable person. 

"In my opinion training is fundamental. When I grew up in Fiorentina's youth sector they taught the basics; now they think about the result."

Massimiliano Allegri says the "divine" Paulo Dybala must go back to "being himself" rather than trying to emulate Lionel Messi.

Dybala has decided to leave Juventus when his contract expires at the end of next month and Serie A rivals Inter want to sign him on a free transfer.

The Argentina forward has also been linked with several Premier League sides as he prepares to embrace a new challenge following seven years with Juve.

Bianconeri head coach Allegri believes Dybala's next club will only get the best out of him if he is not trying to emulate his legendary compatriot Messi.

Allegri told DAZN: "He has to go back to being himself, there was a moment when he got carried away by the fact that he was the new Messi.

"A player cannot emulate or think he is like another. He still has a lot to give because he has extraordinary technical qualities, he plays in a divine way."

Captain Giorgio Chiellini is another player whose time in Turin has come to an end.

Allegri says there is no shortage of leaders to step up in the absence of the long-serving centre-back.

He said: "For the future we already have two leaders, [Matthijs] De Ligt and [Manuel] Locatelli.

"Manuel was an excellent signing and could be the future Juventus captain, he has the technical and moral characteristics to stay here for many years.

"This year Danilo was a pleasant surprise: when he speaks he is never banal and puts the team first. A true leader is silent, he must speak little and must always put the team in front.

"And if you do this, it is the team that recognises you as a leader."

Allegri also expects Dusan Vlahovic to become a figurehead for Juve following his big-money move from Fiorentina in January.

"Dusan can also be a leader in his own way. He is loyal, he always wants to win, he will become a charismatic leader on the pitch on a character level."

Vlahovic scored seven goals in 15 Serie A appearances for Juve following his switch from Florence.

Dusan Vlahovic pledged to improve on his first half-season with Juventus and "become a champion" as the Bianconeri prepare to end their Serie A campaign against his former club Fiorentina.

Vlahovic joined Massimiliano Allegri's side in a €70million move in January after scoring 17 goals in 21 Serie A appearances for Vincenzo Italiano's men this season, adding a further seven in 14 league appearances for the Old Lady since arriving in Turin.

The striker became the joint-highest scoring Serbian player in Serie A history in Monday's 2-2 draw with Lazio (51 – level with Dejan Stankovic), while one more league goal would make him just the second player aged under 23 years old to hit 25 in a Serie A season in 60 years – the other being Ronaldo for Inter in 1997-98.

However, Vlahovic has struggled to match his Fiorentina form during Juventus' frustrating end to the campaign, averaging a league goal every 151.86 minutes for Juve as opposed to every 109.47 minutes for his former club.

Juventus are guaranteed to finish fourth in Serie A for a second consecutive season, having won the title in each of the nine previous campaigns, and lost the Coppa Italia final to rivals Inter this month.

But Vlahovic remains happy with his decision to move to Turin and sees room for improvement moving forward.

Speaking at the Turin book fair, Vlahovic was asked about former Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli labelling him a "true champion" recently, replying: "I would like to say, speaking of myself as a champion... I don't like it. There is a long way to go, to work. I will give my all and I hope I will become a champion.

"I like Juve's DNA, this desire to fight and not give up, to go over the limit, until the end. 

"I am a bit like that too. I like working, above all because when I stop playing, even if it's early, I don't want to have regrets. I want to give everything, I don't want to have regrets. 

"This is my job, I am privileged and I don't see why it should be different. You can always do better. Even when you have done something extraordinary, you must be aware and satisfied, without exaggerating."

Juventus can end this Serie A campaign with a maximum of 73 points, guaranteeing their worst such return since the 2010-11 campaign (58 points, under Luigi Delneri).

The Bianconeri's hopes of a successful campaign suffered a huge blow when Italy's Euro 2020 star Federico Chiesa suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in January.

Vlahovic played with Chiesa at Fiorentina and cannot wait to see the winger return to full fitness next term as he looks to rekindle their on-pitch relationship.

"He saw me grow up as a kid," he said of Chiesa. "We shared three years at Fiorentina, luckily we're together again. 

"He got injured when I arrived, I hope he'll be back as soon as possible. We hope to find our understanding on the pitch, which has remained from Florence. 

"I can't wait to play with him, to take the field and fight with him and win together."

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored a dramatic 96th-minute equaliser as Lazio came from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw with Juventus in Turin.

In a match where Juventus paid tribute to departing stars Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala, first-half goals from Dusan Vlahovic and Alvaro Morata seemed to have put the Bianconeri in control.

But after Alex Sandro's own goal halved the arrears, Maurizio Sarri's return to the Allianz Stadium ended in chaotic fashion when Milinkovic-Savic fired into the roof of the net with the last kick of the game.

As well as spoiling the farewell home appearances of Chiellini and Dybala, the result boosted Lazio's hopes of beating local rivals Roma to a fifth-place finish in Serie A.

Following Wednesday's Coppa Italia final defeat to Inter, it was confirmed Juventus will finish the 2021-22 season without a trophy for the first time since 2011.

Last season under Andrea Pirlo, Juventus not winning Serie A was in itself shocking, but this season has only shown further regression.

Massimiliano Allegri returning to replace Pirlo after his single season in charge was viewed as a means to halt that slide, but Juve will not just likely finish 10 points off the Serie A title winners and without a trophy this term; the Bianconeri are set to finish with a double-digit deficit in a season where the champions will likely will not break the 85-point barrier.

How much the Turin club spend relative to the rest in Italian football must be brought into context. Granted, the financial impact of COVID-19 caused significant restructuring, but they are still the only club in Italy to have a gross annual payroll in excess of €150million and are joined by Inter as one of only two over €100m. Meanwhile, seven Juventus players make up the top 10 salaries in Serie A this season.

Given that comparatively gaudy expenditure, that represents a spectacular failure – especially in comparison to the likes of the notoriously thrifty Atalanta or this Milan project that has sought to maximise value on the pitch and cut unnecessary spending. The major issue with Juve over the past four seasons has been a dramatically diminishing return on investment, but how has it manifested on the pitch?

Juventus had this inevitable capacity to find a way to win games in Allegri's first stint, but they were still volatile. It would be misguided to look at this season in isolation when in a continuum. Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival for the 2018-19 season – which was viewed as the key signing to propel them to long-awaited Champions League glory – arguably accelerated the regression.

Real Madrid's midfield and Karim Benzema allowed Ronaldo to have a largely singular role as the end point to the team's actions in possession. At Juventus, a player who was largely a finisher and was not going to force defensive collapses between the lines by that point had to take on greater responsibility in the team's build-up. Despite the Portuguese star's stature in the game, he was effectively signed for a task on the pitch he was not capable of fulfilling.

Consider that in his last season at Madrid, Ronaldo was averaging 46.87 touches per 90, and 10.02 were in the opposition's penalty area. The next two seasons at Juventus saw a dramatic shift, where for touches per 90 he averages 54.5 and 56.26 respectively. Touches in the penalty area actually decreased, however, at 6.64 and 6.92 respectively per 90.

With Paulo Dybala as the team's attacking focal point, Miralem Pjanic had previously mitigated the deeply conservative nature of Juve's midfield, but with Ronaldo it became a bridge too far. Ronaldo might have sustained his goal involvements, but it came at the expense of the collective. The Bianconeri came no closer to winning the continental silverware he was brought to Turin to secure but, more importantly, declined domestically and were suddenly challenged for what had become a fait accompli that decade in Serie A.

Pjanic's departure at the end of 2019-20 further accelerates that regression, despite the arrivals of Arthur, Alvaro Morata, Federico Chiesa and Weston McKennie that off-season, as well as Adrien Rabiot, Mathijs de Ligt and Dejan Kulusevski the previous off-season.

Arguably, the additions of Rabiot, McKennie and Arthur have only further reinforced the rigidity of Juve's midfield over the years. Pjanic's final season saw him average 1.21 chances from open play per 90, along with 10.34 passes into the final third and 0.13 for expected assists at 92.66 touches. Not one Juventus midfielder since has been able to match all of those averages individually, and trying to replace them in an aggregate creates different requirements elsewhere.

 

Amid Dybala's increasingly marginalised status upon Ronaldo's arrival, it necessitated someone like Morata, whose fantastic movement and ability to incorporate the players around him is paired with erratic finishing in front of goal. It represents a sizeable trade-off. Still, Morata leads the Bianconeri for chances created (1.63) in open play per 90 in all competitions this season.

That provides some context for this season and Dusan Vlahovic's arrival, because he is almost the opposite to Morata – cold-blooded in front of goal, but much less flexible in build-up play and movement off the ball. Yet, while he creates fewer chances in open play (0.81) than Morata, the quality of his shots (0.13 xG per shot) is still lower than Morata's average of 0.16.

 

 

It all matters because, with the exception of Inter and Lazio, the Bianconeri still keep more of the ball than anyone else in Serie A. They both can and cannot afford for their midfield to be so palpably one-dimensional. While Juventus rank 19th across the top five leagues in Europe for touches per 90 (678.46) in all competitions, they rank 32nd for big chances created per 90 (1.56), and 50th for passes into the final third (53.02), calling into question the nature of their possession and how they actually generate their chances.

With that all in context, it can be difficult to definitively assess someone like Fabio Miretti or where he best suits in a system of play, because it is akin to developing an emotional attachment to a captor.

Yet Dybala's forthcoming departure from Turin at the end of this season is symbolic, let alone if he ends up somewhere else in Serie A.

His career trajectory over the past four years, coinciding with Juve's regression and eventual embarrassment of this season, represents how badly the club have managed squad composition and, to reference Jose Mourinho's famous quote, their Champions League dream that became an obsession. As such, they have lacked anything resembling a plan or clarity, and have been blindly led by ambition to this empty-handed season.

Massimiliano Allegri compared Dusan Vlahovic's recent goalscoring drought to Cristiano Ronaldo's early struggles with Juventus as they prepare for the Coppa Italia final with Inter.

Juve will attempt to salvage silverware from a disappointing season when they face Inter at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday. The Nerazzurri beat Juve 2-1 in the Supercoppa Italiana back in January.

The Bianconeri's hopes of regaining the Scudetto have long since evaporated, with Juve 11 points behind leaders Milan with two Serie A games to play.

They have at least secured Champions League football for next season, despite a run of form from Vlahovic that has seen him fail to score in any of the past four games in all competitions.

But Allegri is backing their marquee January signing from Fiorentina to fire in the final, while drawing a comparison with Ronaldo's slow start to life in Turin, which saw the Portugal star go the opening three Serie A games of his Juve career without scoring.

Asked in his pre-match media conference about Serbia national coach Dragan Stojkovic's prediction that Vlahovic would score in the final, Allegri responded: "I hope he scores two! Not just one.

"Vlahovic is doing well and is serene. Sometimes he asks too much of himself. He is worthy of Juventus and he can improve next season.

"He has been scoring a decent amount of goals. In Italy, it isn't easy to score a goal per game.

"When Ronaldo arrived, he didn't score for five or six games. If Vlahovic looks upset, it means that he cares about what he does."

Luigi Delneri was the last Juve coach to end a season without a trophy, doing so in 2010-11. Allegri is keen to avoid that fate at the end of a season impacted by Ronaldo's departure to Manchester United.

"The team had a bad start, but we reached an important result because playing the Champions League every season is crucial," said Allegri.

"We'll try to improve things and be ready to start again from next season.

"You all know that seeing Ronaldo leave with only three days remaining in the summer transfer window wasn't easy. I had to know the team as well. Then we lost Federico Chiesa.

"We faced a few difficult moments. On the other hand, we have improved and qualified for the Champions League round of 16. The club helped us by signing Dusan Vlahovic in January, but our run was stopped against Inter last month.

"Now I know the players and the staff, I am sure that next season we'll have more chances to win our main target, the Scudetto. It would be nice to win tomorrow, end the season in the best way and prepare for the next one."

Manchester United were left short of attacking options due to the board's refusal to sign a forward late in January, according to Ralf Rangnick.

Rangnick took interim charge in November after the dismissal of club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and arrived as a highly acclaimed operator in the transfer market after his technical role at RB Leipzig.

United fans may have been hopeful the German would be allowed to deliver some transfer gems, having previously signed the likes of Erling Haaland, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita for small fees while at RB Salzburg.

However, United were instead left with a shortage of strikers after the unsettled Anthony Martial was loaned to Sevilla and Mason Greenwood was suspended indefinitely by the club with three days left in January.

Rangnick eyed moves for Dusan Vlahovic, who subsequently left Fiorentina for Juventus, Manchester City-bound Julian Alvarez, and Luis Diaz, who joined Liverpool from Porto, but none came to fruition.

That left United to rely on the evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored nine of their last 13 league goals across 10 matches, with Edinson Cavani hampered by fitness and injury issues.

"The answer at the time was no there was no player on the market that could really help us – there were a few, Diaz who is now at Liverpool, Alvarez who will be at Manchester City in the summer, Vlahovic who at the time still was with Fiorentina those are just three of them that come across my mind now," said Rangnick.

"We had four days off at the time and on the Sunday I was informed about the issues with Mason Greenwood and obviously Anthony Martial had already left.

"Then I was aware that within four days we had some strikers missing and it might make sense, we were still in three competitions – Champions League, FA Cup and fourth in the league but that's the past and it doesn't help us anymore.

"I spoke to the board and said shouldn't we at least speak and try and analyse if we could get a player either on loan or as a permanent deal but in the end the answer was no.

"I still believe that we should have at least tried, if we would've found and been able in 48 hours, 48 hours is short notice but it's still 48 hours, it might have been worth to try and internally discuss but we didn't and it was not done."

Rangnick will move into a consultancy role at the end of the season, alongside his coaching commitments with Austria, and partner the incoming Erik ten Hag in an attempt to transform United's fortunes.

Ten Hag has already demanded some ruling over transfers, while Rangnick claimed United may need up to 10 players to compete.

Rangnick is under no illusions about how sizeable the rebuilding task will be at Old Trafford.

"If there is a good thing about the poor season we had so far it is that everybody now should be aware how big and where the problems are and what needs to be done to raise the level again and to be a serious title contender again – and this is what it's all about – to me it's obvious what needs to be done, this is what is most important," said Rangnick.

"If there hadn't been any problems before I came I wouldn't have come, probably Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] would still be sat here answering your questions.

"There were some problems the team already had at the end of November and as we all know in the first couple of months until the end of January we were improving, we conceded less goals, we had a point average of 2.1 after the West Ham game but then in that international break we lost three players and we had problems to score goals and find our balance."

"Now it's time to look ahead, now we have two games to play try to play as well as we possibly can, get as many points as we possibly can out of those two games. 

"Then together with Erik, together with the board, together with the scouting department, hopefully find and also convince the players, it's not only about finding them, scouting them you also have to convince them to come to Manchester United."

Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus do not need to change their style to see the best of Dusan Vlahovic, as the striker prepares to face former club Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

However, Allegri did acknowledge the Bianconeri must improve their attacking returns after seeing nine Serie A outfits outscore them this season.

After winning the first leg 1-0 in Florence, Juventus, who have progressed from each of their last six Coppa Italia semi-finals, remain among the favourites for a sixth domestic cup triumph in eight seasons, having lifted the trophy in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2021.

The Bianconeri are, though, just the 10th-highest scorers in Serie A despite Vlahovic netting seven goals in 14 appearances in all competitions since his January arrival, having scored 20 in 24 games for his previous employers this term.

Ahead of the Old Lady's decisive cup meeting with Vlahovic's former club, Allegri was adamant Juve did not need to change to accommodate the Serb, but acknowledged improvements were needed.

"Absolutely not," he replied when asked if changes might benefit Vlahovic. "Vlahovic has played 14 games and scored seven goals.

"Right now, we can't play like we did in November or December, because the games weigh more. There is no chance to recover.

"We need to improve the tenth place in the ranking of goals scored, we need to be more concrete.

"In football there is one thing that remains old, but it still counts: the goal difference, which then leads you to win or lose the championships."

Allegri has reached the Coppa Italia final four times as Juventus manager, already more than any other Bianconeri manager in history. His only elimination before the competition's final came in 2018-19's quarter-finals, a 3-0 loss to Atalanta.

The 54-year-old lifted Italy's domestic cup on all four occasions where he reached the final, and says Juve's strong run will count for nothing if they fall short of winning the trophy.

Although he also emphasised the importance of a top-four league finish and said a semi-final win would not "turn around" the season, he noted that reaching a final was a "good goal".

"The Coppa Italia only counts if you win it," he added. "If you lose it, you have failed completely. As for the championship, Juve must now think about finishing in the top four. 

"In early January, no one would have expected Juventus to be five points clear of fifth [Roma] with five games to go. Now we have to be good at defending [against] them.

"We haven't won games in which we played well, we lacked that little bit more to make the leap forward. We have to work on this, and the next year will surely be better.

"Tomorrow's game does not make the season turn around, but it will allow us to go to the final and it would be a good goal."

Juventus have lost only one of their last 25 home games in the Coppa Italia (winning 20 and drawing four). Coincidentally, this was a defeat against Fiorentina in the 2014-15 semi-finals, when Mohamed Salah netted a brace for the Viola and Fernando Llorente scored for the Bianconeri.

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri acknowledged the Bianconeri's slim title hopes were over despite Dusan Vlahovic's dramatic late equaliser against Bologna.

The Serbian striker scored the 50th goal of his Serie A career five minutes into stoppage time to spare the blushes of the Turin giants, who were on course for an embarrassing loss despite Adama Soumaoro and Gary Medel receiving late red cards for Bologna after Marko Arnautovic's second-half opener.

The result marked the first time Juventus have failed to defeat Bologna since February 2016 and left Allegri's men eight points behind league leaders Milan with just five games remaining, as their hopes of a 10th Scudetto in 11 seasons faded.

Juventus failed to register a single shot on target during a dismal first-half showing, the fifth time they have done so during Allegri's first season back at the helm but first since facing Fiorentina in November.

The 54-year-old insisted after the draw that the Bianconeri were embroiled in a four-way battle for Champions League football rather than the title race, acknowledging his team needed to show more patience against a stubborn Bologna defence. 

"This year Juve is not fighting for the Scudetto," Allegri said. "We had gotten close to Inter, even until today, when we stopped. 

"In football, however, anything could happen. Reaching fourth place remains an important goal. I think Fiorentina have a good calendar and a direct match against us. Then there are also Lazio and Roma.

"We take one step at a time. In football you think one thing and another happens. We have to be calmer. The games last a long time and there is always time to win them."

Juventus hold a lead of six points over fifth-placed Roma in the Serie A table, having played one extra game ahead of the Giallorossi facing Napoli on Monday.

Allegri refused to criticise his team for a below-bar display, however, suggesting they would have lost the same game had it occurred at the start of the season.

"We managed to equalise a match that had become complicated after playing a bad first half," he added. "Immediately [after conceding] we hit the post and shot more on goal. 

"Lately we have conceded too many goals, we need to improve, but we would have lost these games at the beginning of the season. Let's look at the glass half full."

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci also rued the Old Lady's lack of patience when faced with breaking down their opponents, as Bologna avoided defeat at Juventus for the first time since September 2011.

"We tried to push and put pressure on after the equaliser," the 34-year-old said. "With more clarity we could also have scored the second goal, given their numerical inferiority. 

"It was a pity because three points could have given us so much."

With Juve seemingly out of the Serie A title race, their last hope of silverware this season is the Coppa Italia, in which they host Fiorentina on Wednesday after winning their semi-final first leg 1-0.

Dusan Vlahovic netted a stoppage-time equaliser as Juventus rescued a 1-1 draw against nine-man Bologna in Turin, though the result still dealt a severe blow to their slender title hopes. 

Juve failed to create clear-cut chances during a dismal first-half display before Marko Arnautovic's goal put Bologna ahead.

Yet the match sparked into life in the final stages when Adama Soumaoro and Gary Medel both received red cards amid remarkable scenes.

Juve made their numerical advantage count when Vlahovic nodded in on the line from Alvaro Morata's acrobatic attempt to salvage a point that leaves them eight behind Serie A leaders Milan.

Massimiliano Allegri has told Juventus they require at least 10 points from their remaining six games to clinch a Champions League place as Dusan Vlahovic targets a landmark goal.

If Vlahovic scores against Bologna on Saturday, the former Fiorentina striker will reach 50 goals in his Serie A career at the age of 22 years and 78 days old.

In Italian top-flight history, only one foreign player has reached 50 at a younger age, with Alexandre Pato doing so with Milan at 21 years and 220 days.

That gives context to Serbian Vlahovic's performance to date, with five of his goals having come in his first nine league games for Juventus.

Juventus sit just six points behind league leaders Milan, having last had a shorter gap to top spot after matchday two, but a defeat to Inter two weeks ago has probably ended their title hopes.

This is why Allegri is focusing on making sure of a fourth-place finish. A five-point cushion over fifth-placed Roma suggests Juventus should achieve that objective, but Allegri is demanding sharp focus.

There have been disappointments in his reign to date, including a Champions League last-16 exit to Villarreal and a Supercoppa Italiana loss to Inter, so there will be no early celebrations from Juventus.

"Bologna drew at San Siro against Milan and won the last match [2-0 against Sampdoria]. We have to be careful," Allegri said, "there are six games left between now and the end of the championship.

"We still need 10 points to get into the Champions League. I am satisfied with how the team have grown and how we are working. We have started a path, even if I am sorry about how we came out of the Champions League and how we lost the Supercoppa Italiana.

"The team have been doing well for several months now, but we have reached the crucial moment of the season and we must reach the minimum goal, which is fourth place, by.trying to score as many points as possible."

 

Juventus have a Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against Fiorentina coming up on Wednesday, with Allegri's side holding a 1-0 lead.

"We will think about the Coppa Italia from the day after tomorrow," Allegri said.

However, that game is already somewhat in his thoughts, with Allegri saying he will choose either Leonardo Bonucci or Giorgio Chiellini in central defence against Bologna, but will not pick both, given the importance of the Fiorentina game.

Vlahovic is a confirmed starter, and Allegri said: "I hope he can become the top scorer in the league."

Heading into the weekend, Vlahovic has 22 goals for the season, two fewer than top scorer Ciro Immobile of Lazio.

Juventus have won each of their last 11 Serie A games against Bologna, scoring 26 goals in this run, and at home they have put together eight successive league wins against Saturday's opponents.

Paulo Dybala should have demanded a one-year contract to prove his worth to Juventus if he was happy in Turin, according to former Bianconeri boss Fabio Capello.

Argentina international Dybala is set to see his time at the Allianz Stadium comes to its conclusion when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The forward has 113 goals across all competitions for Juve, ranking him third all-time among the club’s non-Italian scorers, behind only David Trezeguet (171) and John Hansen (124).

Fellow Serie A competitors Inter and Premier League side Tottenham, managed by former Nerazzurri coach Antonio Conte, are reportedly among the favourites to secure Dybala's signature for the next campaign.

But Capello believes if the 28-year-old was settled at Juve then he should have pleaded with the club for another chance, while he heaped praise on Massimiliano Allegri's new star striker Dusan Vlahovic.

"I like Vlahovic, he has pace, physical strength and desire to improve," he told Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport. "He knows how to work for the team and stay inside the box.

"But Max [Allegri] is right when he says that he must learn how to play in a top club, managing the pressure and the different phases in a game.

"You can't question Dybala technically, but he has had some fitness issues. If he was happy in Turin, he should have challenged Juventus. Ask them for a one-year contract and show how much he's worth.

"The same goes for [Roma forward Nicolo] Zaniolo. He suffered two serious injuries and remained out for 18 months. He must rediscover self-confidence because he has the technical skills."

 

Capello also expressed his concern for the state of Italian football, with the Azzurri missing out on two straight World Cups and no Serie A side in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Roma and Atalanta are the only two Italian sides left in the Europa League, and former England manager Capello believes Italy are way behind their international competitors.

"Italian football is far behind the others. The ball doesn't move quickly, referees blow the whistle too often," he added. "They stop the play too frequently. Every challenge is a foul, so there is never intensity, our teams do not learn to keep up the pace.

"We have fallen behind, in every sense, but the main problem is that the best players no longer come to Italy, so there is no comparison with the best. 

"I don't learn anything if what should help me grow is of the same level as me, has my same knowledge, identical experiences"

Allegri acknowledged his reluctance to use young players in an interview on Friday, and the preference to utilise more experienced players is a problem thought to spread across the whole of the Italian game.

Capello expects no quick fixes as he cited the progression of other countries to learn from.

"Even eight. In Italy, everyone intervenes," he responded when asked if it would take five or six years to return Italy to the top of the footballing pyramid.

"As for youth sectors, those in charge should have a trip to Spain where they work on the technique, not on tactics."

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