Adrien Rabiot's brace helped Juventus to a much-needed 3-1 win over Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League on Wednesday, boosting their hopes of progressing from Group H.

The Bianconeri approached the match requiring a victory after successive European losses against Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica, and they hit the front through Rabiot's powerful first-half finish.

Angel Di Maria starred with a hat-trick of assists, including a sublime pass to allow Dusan Vlahovic to double Juventus' lead shortly after the break.

Juventus came under pressure after Dean David raced through to reduce the arrears, but Rabiot's late header made the points safe and eased the pressure on Massimiliano Allegri.

Vlahovic twice went close as Juventus started strongly, seeing a well-placed strike turned away by Matt Cohen before dragging a poor effort wide from Filip Kostic's cut-back.

Maccabi posed a threat on the break throughout the first half, leading to jeers from a nervous home crowd, but the Bianconeri made the breakthrough when Rabiot darted onto Di Maria's pass to blast into the roof of the net 10 minutes before the break.

Di Maria was again involved when Juventus extended their lead five minutes after half-time, picking out Vlahovic with a sublime outside-of-the-foot pass before the Serb slotted into the bottom-right corner.

Omer Atzili struck the foot of the post as Maccabi refused to go down without a fight, before Vlahovic was denied a double by the offside flag after converting from yet another Di Maria pass.

David ensured a tense finish when he rounded Wojciech Szczesny to give Maccabi hope with 15 minutes remaining, but Rabiot had the final say, securing Juventus' win by nodding Di Maria's corner home eight minutes later.

What does it mean? Juventus stay alive in Group H

Juventus approached Wednesday's match having lost three successive Champions League games. Had the Bianconeri fallen to a fourth consecutive defeat for the first time in the competition's history, their hopes of progression – and Allegri himself – may not have recovered.

But the Bianconeri – led by their outstanding midfield duo Rabiot and Di Maria – shook off any first-half nerves to move within four points of PSG and Benfica.

Di Maria equals Messi with creative masterclass

Di Maria was limited to one substitute appearance in Juventus' first two European matches of the campaign after struggling with an injury, and the Bianconeri may be left to rue his early absence if they fail to escape Group H.

Since the start of the 2007-08 campaign – when Di Maria made his first Champions League appearance, no player has bettered his tally of 35 assists in the competition.

Only his legendary compatriot Lionel Messi has teed up as many Champions League goals during that spell.

Rabiot ends long wait

Rabiot looked every inch the natural goalscorer as his brace led Juventus to a vital win, but the France international had endured a long goal drought prior to Wednesday's double.

The 27-year-old's first-half effort ended his 50-game run without a goal in all competitions, and represented his first strike since he found the net against Bologna in May 2021.

What's next?

Juventus will face a huge test of their Serie A credentials when they travel to Champions Milan on Saturday, while Maccabi Haifa go to Maccabi Bnei Raina on the same day.

Massimiliano Allegri's position as Juventus head coach has "never been even slightly in doubt," according to Bianconeri vice-chairman Pavel Nedved.

Juve have endured a poor start to the 2022-23 campaign; they already trail early Serie A pacesetters Napoli and Atalanta by seven points after eight games. 

The Bianconeri also lost their opening two Group H matches in the Champions League, with Allegri describing Wednesday's visit of Maccabi Haifa as a "must win" following a pair of 2-1 defeats against Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica.

Although, they do have momentum after Sunday's 3-0 victory over Bologna ended a five-game winless streak across all competitions.

And Nedved insists everyone is focused on turning the club's fortunes around.

"I don't know why it is difficult for us in the Champions League," he told Sky Sport Italia prior to Wednesday's game.

"We are doing everything, the club, coach, staff and players, to get us back on track, to play Juve-style games that can get us through to the next round and recover in Serie A. That is our objective.

"The coach has never been even slightly in doubt, I want to make that clear. There was more confidence after the win, but we have also had very few training sessions, very few, so we will discover the form of the team as we go forward."

Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus' Champions League clash with Maccabi Haifa is a "must win" following their difficult start to the 2022-23 season.

A 3-0 victory over Bologna in Serie A over the weekend saw the Bianconeri finally snap a winless streak that started in August, having lost their first two European games to Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica.

But that result has not fully masked the struggles of a side that have looked ill at ease with themselves this term, off the pace all too frequently at home and abroad, with them yet to claim a Champions League win this term.

The visit of the Israeli Premier League champions – the lowest ranked side in the competition by UEFA Club Coefficient – therefore represents a match in which they must prevail to further stem their troubles.

"We must win, but we don’t need anxiety," Allegri cautioned. "One game does not solve all the problems. Hopefully, we'll win.

"It's not an easy game. Maccabi played well in Lisbon [a 2-0 loss to Benfica] and played an even match with PSG [a 3-1 loss]. They press high, and it's going to be tough. We have to respect them.

"It's useless to think about the other teams if we don't win both games against Maccabi. Tomorrow is our most important Champions League game."

Allegri added that he expects to rotate players amid a heavy fixture schedule through October, as teams race towards the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup next month.

"Surely, we will change something," he noted. "We have a packed fixture list. I can rotate a bit during the game."

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri says his side must take matters "one step at a time" after breaking a month-long winless streak against Bologna on Sunday.

The Bianconeri ran out 3-0 winners at the Allianz Stadium, clinching their first victory in all competitions since the end of August thanks to goals from Filip Kostic, Dusan Vlahovic and Arkadiusz Milik. 

The result arrested Juventus' slide into mid-table mediocrity in Serie A, although they remain four points adrift of the top four and seven shy of early-season leaders Napoli.

The difficulty of the challenge facing Juve is not lost on Allegri, who says his team need to avoid getting ahead of themselves in the coming weeks.

"We need to take it one step at a time, and hopefully, we can close the gap," he told DAZN. "We closed it last season, so [we know] we can do it again.

"We needed patience and focus to build the performance and get the result. I almost felt like we couldn't believe it when we got back to the locker room.

"It needs to be one small step at a time. We can't make up that difference all in one go. At this moment, we need clear and cool heads."

Kostic netted his first goal in club colours to round off a superb run from Vlahovic, who arguably delivered his best performance of the season in Turin.

Kostic said he would look to repay the favour by teeing up his fellow Serbia international in the future, stating: "I do a good job with Dusan, I thanked him for the assist and I hope I can give one back next time."

 

Goals from Filip Kostic, Dusan Vlahovic and Arkadiusz Milik helped Juventus snap their month-long winless streak as they returned to Serie A action with a 3-0 victory over Bologna.

Heading into Sunday's encounter, Massimiliano Allegri's side had not won across all competitions since the end of August, to leave the head coach's future at the club in serious doubt.

But an assured display from the Bianconeri against Thiago Motta's embattled side has likely assuaged immediate fears at Allianz Stadium, while the scope of the Bologna boss' task is becoming readily apparent.

Aside from an off-target Manuel Locatelli effort in the first minute, the early exchanges provided scant entertainment in Turin as both sides sought to settle into the game.

But it was Juventus who looked the livelier of the two and when Vlahovic picked off a loose ball in midfield, the crowd rose to roar on his blazing run.

Kostic ran crafty support along the left flank, and when the ball came wide to him, his low strike beyond Lukasz Skorupski back across the box was a worthy opener.

Bologna seldom looked like they would disturb that lead and the visitors were made to pay again just before the hour mark when Vlahovic powered Weston McKennie's cross home with a header.

Merely three minutes later, Milik took advantage of a defensive lapse to rifle a vicious volley into the roof of the net, and from there the hosts cruised to full-time for a morale-boosting result.

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri has declared a "new season" begins against Bologna following a disappointing start to the campaign.

Allegri's side are without a win in five matches, having lost back-to-back games against Monza in Serie A and Benfica in the Champions League before the international break.

Pressure upon Allegri has risen as a result, with Juventus only able to win two of their nine matches this season.

The hosting of Bologna on Sunday begins a frantic period for Juve, with 12 games to come before the season halts for the World Cup in Qatar, and Allegri experts his players to kickstart the campaign.

"We had started well in the first three games, then [there were] many defeats and bad performances. From tomorrow a new season must begin," he said in Saturday's press conference.

"We are trying to bring Juventus back to winning with work and passion and we hope to be able to do it as soon as possible. We still have time to recover both in the league and in the Champions League."

Juve will be boosted by the return of several players, with Adrien Rabiot, Manuel Locatelli and Alex Sandro among those back in contention, with Allegri set to manage workloads during such a demanding period.

"I have to manage the important players in the best possible way because now we will have many close matches," he added.

"Now, however, let's think about Bologna. In these two weeks we have discussed to understand the problems and find solutions.

"We are recovering important players, Sandro, Rabiot and Locatelli return tomorrow, Juan Cuadrado and Arkadiusz Milik return from disqualification. Only Angel Di Maria remains out, due to suspension, Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa."

Juventus may soon be forced to "change the management" if Massimiliano Allegri cannot inspire a rapid improvement in their fortunes, according to former Bianconeri midfielder Mohamed Sissoko.

The Italian giants have endured a tough start to the season, winning only two of their first seven games in Serie A and losing their opening two Champions League group-stage matches for the first time.

And Sissoko – a Juventus player between 2007 and 2011 – feels the club may have to dismiss Allegri if they cannot beat Bologna at home on Sunday in their first match after the international break.

"There's a big problem there. It's true, the start was very bad," Sissoko told Stats Perform.

"We will see what happens after the international break because I think it's going to be a big moment if the team don't win."

Allegri is in his second stint with the club having presided over a hugely successful tenure between 2014 and 2019, winning five straight Scudetti and reaching two Champions League finals.

However, his second reign has been underwhelming. A fourth-place finish last season followed by a slow start this term has led to many fans calling for the Italian coach to be sacked.

And Sissoko believes this feeling around the club is not beneficial for the players, saying: "When you work in this atmosphere it is not easy for players.

"If the result don't come, I think it's better to change, to have fresh management, new people and new things."

Juventus fans will be hoping star signings Angel Di Maria and Paul Pogba can help Juventus climb the table.

Di Maria, signed from PSG in pre-season, has scored once in his first four league games while Pogba is yet to play because of a torn meniscus.

But Sissoko still believes the two signings will be a key part of Juventus' campaign.

"The team need to work a lot – it's a team performance, but if you put more quality in this team, like Pogba, like Di Maria, 100 per cent it's not the same team," he added.

Pogba has also had to contend with off-field controversy in recent months.

His brother, Mathias, has been charged in connection with an alleged armed extortion attempt against the World Cup winner.

Asked how this might affect Pogba’s performances for Juventus when he returns from injury, Sissoko said: "To be honest, it's not easy.

"I think Pogba has the good mentality to support all these things. I think he's going to fix all these things with him and his family to come back to play football and to give a lot of things to the supporters and for himself also."

Dejan Kulusevski believes Antonio Conte's coaching style has been critical in his personal improvement at Tottenham after stagnating with Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus.

Kulusevski rose to prominence during the 2019-20 season when on loan at Parma from Atalanta, with his form in the first half of that campaign persuading Juve to spend €35million on him.

Although he played 55 Serie A games for the Bianconeri after linking up with them ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, Kulusevski struggled to find the same prominence and consistency he enjoyed at Parma.

Spurs struck a deal in January to take the Sweden international on loan for 18 months, and the agreement will become permanent for £29.2m (€32.6m) if certain sporting criteria are met.

Kulusevski quickly made an impression – from the date of his signing until the end of the season, no player registered more assists than his eight in the Premier League, while Kevin De Bruyne (17), Son Heung-min (20) and Harry Kane (21) were the only three individuals to tally more goal involvements than the Swede's 13 over the same period.

Similarly, his three assists this season is third to only De Bruyne (six) and Bukayo Saka (four) – he is finding his feet, and he does not think he could have found such comfort had he stayed at Juventus.

"In football sometimes things simply go wrong. I have not changed anything about myself in recent months: mentally I went always to go on the pitch and gave my best.

"At Juve, however, it didn't work beyond what I tried to do. I didn't feel great for so many different reasons and when you realise that things are not right, then it's difficult to reverse course by staying in the same environment.

"So, the choice to leave Italy was the best I could have made in that situation.

"In England I am great, everything is better than in Turin, both on and off the pitch. As I said, now I really always want to play football."

Kulusevski has no doubt what the key difference is: Conte.

While he did not want to disparage Allegri, Kulusevski feels he has reacted positively to Conte's demands, which have in turn got the best out of him.

Asked if there was a big difference between Allegri and Conte, the winger said: "Honestly, yes.

"I don't want to say that one is better than the other, because I have great respect for both Allegri and Conte and both have won a lot in their careers, but the job and the ideas of ​​football are completely different.

"At Tottenham, you struggle a lot more in the gym and you can see the results. I can say that from Juve to Spurs, the world changed for me.

"I have never met in my life, even outside of football, a motivated person like Antonio Conte. When he speaks to you, he enters your heart by force.

"At Tottenham my body changed – mainly thanks to the exercises in the gym – in no time. We work a lot every day and better than I did in Italy.

"I love how we train in London and for sure the credit goes to our coach: I'm very happy to play for him."

Arsenal teenager Ethan Nwaneri has captured the imaginations of England's top clubs after becoming the youngest player in Premier League history, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool all reportedly interested.

Nwaneri broke the record when he came on as a substitute in stoppage time of Arsenal's 3-0 win against Brentford on Sunday, becoming the first 15-year-old to appear in the competition.

His appearance – and subsequent praise from manager Mikel Arteta – did not go unnoticed, and it seems he is set to become one of English football's most talked-about youngsters.

TOP STORY – 15-YEAR-OLD NWANERI CATCHES THE EYE OF CITY, UNITED AND LIVERPOOL

With Nwaneri still classified as a schoolboy and not set to receive a scholarship with Arsenal until he turns 16 in March, The Times says he is being tracked by United, City and Liverpool.

The report suggests the interest being shown towards him by the country's most decorated clubs may have had some bearing on Arsenal's decision to hand him his debut, although Arteta was adamant it was only due to injuries limiting his bench options.

Whether he remains with the first-team set-up when healthy reinforcements return is unknown, and Arteta's messages were mixed. 

As well as saying "we need to create as many scenarios as possible for him to put his talent to the service of the team", Arteta also added Nwaneri should not expect his meteoric rise to continue at the same pace, adding: "After this, maybe he needs three [steps] backwards to go another forward."

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato is reporting Juventus officials will meet on Friday to discuss the future of Massimiliano Allegri, with the club sitting eighth in the Serie A table with two wins from seven matches.

– According to La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Chelsea target Rafael Leao would like to remain with Milan and is working on a contract extension. 

– Marseille loanee Arkadiusz Milik is impressing during his stint with Juventus, who are interested in activating a €7million buy option in his loan agreement, according to Calciomercato.

Nice are hoping to hire Mauricio Pochettino to replace coach Lucien Favre after two wins from their first eight games, per ESPN, although The Telegraph claims Pochettino has no interest in the role.

Angel Di Maria accepted responsibility for Juventus' shock 1-0 loss to Monza after he was sent off in the first half on Sunday.

The Argentina international saw red five minutes before half-time for an elbow into the chest of Armando Izzo as the two jostled for possession in midfield.

The 10-man Bianconeri were condemned to defeat by a 74th-minute goal from Monza substitute Christian Gytkjaer to further ramp up the pressure on head coach Massimiliano Allegri.

However, the coach was not to blame, according to Di Maria, who said the result was "all my fault".

In an Instagram post, the former Paris Saint-Germain winger said: "I want to apologise to everyone for this inappropriate reaction I had on the pitch.

"Leaving the team with one down at such a difficult time has cost us the game.

"Losing is all my fault. I am so sorry. I'm a professional but also a human being who makes mistakes and knows how to admit them."

Juventus assistant coach Marco Landucci replied "negativity does not help" when asked about Massimiliano Allegri's future after a shock 1-0 defeat away at Monza.

With under-fire Allegri serving a touchline ban, Landucci oversaw the Bianconeri, who mustered only two shots on target against a team that started the game winless and bottom of Serie A as Angel Di Maria was sent off for a petulant elbow on Armando Izzo.

Substitute Christian Gytkjaer netted a 74th-minute winner for Monza's first victory since their promotion, and defeat means Juventus have earned just 10 points from their first seven Serie A matches.

When questioned on whether he and Allegri still had the club's support, Landucci told reporters: "We don't give up, it's not in our DNA.

"I haven't talked to Allegri yet, we'll do it to understand the situation. We will certainly continue to work to correct mistakes.

"We work precisely on these things, on the goals we have scored, mistakes to try to improve. It is evident that at the moment it is not enough. Negativity does not help.

"The criticisms of the fans are there, now we have to be united. It's easy to be united in victories, we have to be even more so now."

Landucci felt Di Maria's red card was the key moment in the match, adding: "Di Maria's sending off affected us.

"Di Maria is the first to be sorry, he fell into the trap of Izzo, who is very good at this kind of thing."

Angel Di Maria saw red as struggling Juventus fell to a 1-0 defeat at Monza in Serie A, with substitute Christian Gytkjaer scoring a 74th-minute winner.

With head coach Massimiliano Allegri not on the bench through suspension, the Bianconeri put in a poor display as Di Maria was sent off for an elbow on Armando Izzo before half-time.

The visitors' sloppy performance was punished 16 minutes from time as Gytkjaer slammed home from a Patrick Ciurria’s cross.

A first league defeat of the season for Allegri’s men means they lose more ground on Serie A’s early pace-setters, adding to the scrutiny of the coach.

Monza started brightly with Nicolo Rovella, on loan from Juventus, flashing a volley wide of the left post.

Izzo missed a great chance to break the early deadlock as he headed over from a Marlon Santos cross, before Patrick Ciurria’s side-footed effort was just off the mark.

Juventus struggled to get going, with Dusan Vlahovic finally registering their first shot on target in the 28th minute with a tame attempt that was easily saved.

The Bianconeri were down to 10 men before the break, as Di Maria saw red for a petulant elbow in the chest of Izzo as the two battled for possession.

After the interval, the home side's Dany Mota should have done better when he turned a cross past the post, before Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin made a smart stop to keep out Carlos Augusto’s powerful shot.

The hosts finally got their reward when Gytkjaer smashed home from Ciurria’s deflected cross to spark wild celebrations from the home faithful.

Juventus pushed for an equaliser, but an easily saved Moise Kean header was as close as they came, making it now five games without a victory in all competitions for the Turin giants.

Juventus dismissing Massimiliano Allegri following early-season struggles would be "madness", according to Bianconeri chief executive Maurizio Arrivabene.

Allegri's side had won just two of their eight games in all competitions ahead of their Serie A trip to Monza on Sunday.

That form has led to growing pressure on coach Allegri, who has resembled a defiant figure as he insisted his side were "growing" despite domestic and European failings so far.

The 55-year-old signed a four-year contract in Turin last year, and reports in Italy suggest Juve are unlikely to part ways with Allegri at this stage.

Arrivabene echoed those sentiments as he suggested he should take some blame for the Bianconeri's underwhelming results this term.

"Changing would be madness," he told DAZN. "Today, problems must be lived and seen at 360 degrees; we have come out of difficult years that have weighed on everyone's skin, not just football. 

"The responsibility is running Juventus; carrying out summary trials or pointing at a culprit does not help a club like Juve to work.

"Max not only has a contract but a four-year programme. I have a CEO programme. If you are looking for a culprit, it's me.

"The CEO is at the top of the company; if things don't work out somehow, it's also my job to make them work.

"Looking ahead, there are three very important elements: humility, clarity, determination. We need to look ahead together."

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri is positive about his team's prospects, despite a difficult start to the season.

Juve have won just two of their eight games in all competitions so far (D4, L2), and were beaten 2-1 at home by Benfica on Wednesday in the Champions League.

That marked the first time the Bianconeri have lost their first two games in the group stage, having lost by the same score at Paris Saint-Germain a week prior.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of their Serie A clash at Monza, Allegri said he believes his side are playing well, and just need to "pay more attention to details".

"We must not only look at the results," he said. "I believe the team is growing. We also had a good reaction physically with Benfica, but we need to pay more attention to details.

"We must be focused on the next games and through the performance, obtain the result. Then there will be a break and with confidence, we must prepare for the Champions League challenge."

Allegri has been without a number of players through injury but is sure his backroom staff are working hard to minimise the impact in a hectic season.

"The number of injuries is similar to last year, 10 against 11, but playing many more games," he said. "Then, we had more problems on the flexors, this year on the adductors... but there is no doubt about the fact that the staff inside Continassa [the club's training centre] works well."

Juve travel to Monza on Sunday, who sit bottom of the table, and Allegri will still be without several players.

"Alex Sandro, [Adrien] Rabiot, [Manuel] Locatelli will not be called up," he said. "[Wojciech] Szczesny will be available but [Mattia] Perin will play.

"[Angel] Di Maria will start, and I'll have to decide who to play in defence."

Massimiliano Allegri told his Juventus players to internalise their frustration and focus on training harder after defeat to Benfica put their Champions League hopes in peril.

A 2-1 loss in Turin followed last week's defeat by the same scoreline at Paris Saint-Germain, leaving the Bianconeri six points behind both of their early conquerors after two rounds of Group H games.

Allegri, in the second season of his second spell as Juventus head coach, appeared to point to the mental fragility of his team after the final whistle, saying they "collapsed" after going 2-1 behind in the 55th minute.

He has said he does not fear for his job, nor is he willing to engage in drawn-out public discourse about how the Turin giants might get back on track.

It is simple, according to Allegri, who believes working beats talking in a time of crisis.

"I knew when I came back that it would take time to rebuild," he said. "But unfortunately I did not think that at this moment we would lose two games in a row [in the Champions League]."

Juventus won nine consecutive Serie A titles before failing to make it 10 in a row during Andrea Pirlo's single season in charge.

They laboured to fourth place under Allegri last term, and the coach says finding an instant winning formula was always going to be difficult.

"But this is something the club knows, we all know it, but the important thing is to try to do well, to stay in the Champions League," Allegri said. "And these two games p***** us off.

"This does not mean that everything is compromised in the Champions League, but at the moment talking is useless. Plus the less we talk, the better it is, because we waste less energy."

With his team sitting eighth in Serie A after two wins and four draws so far this season, Allegri's words sounded worrying after Wednesday's defeat.

Juve had no response to the dominance of Benfica, who had previously lost 10 of their last 12 visits against Italian clubs.

"In these moments I think there are few explanations to give," Allegri said, "because in any case after we went 2-1 down, the game was over because it was in their hands. On a psychological level we had collapsed and therefore, in this moment, we can only remain silent, work and take little step after little step to get back up."

He pinpointed Sunday's Serie A game against Monza as a chance to bounce back, but whatever the result of that game it will do nothing to repair the early damage to Juve's European hopes.

"At this moment, going to look for and talk about the problems that exist does not make sense," Allegri said.

"The Champions League in this moment is complicated. This doesn't mean that it is already over, but at the moment the closest thing is Monza. So we have four days to better prepare for the match in Monza at a mental level."

He added: "I don't want to blame the lads for anything. It is normal that there must be a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone and everyone needs to do something more – not overdo, but do."

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