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Allegri: “You Win Titles With Games Like These”

Juventus manager Massimilaino Allegri claimed his team were one step closer to yet another Serie A title after a hard-fought draw at Napoli.

Despite taking the lead through Sami Khedira, Juve had to hold on to earn a point against the side in third place.

But they secured a crucial result to move six points clear at the top of the table, and despite what he called a ‘difficult’ game, Allegri was positive about the draw.

‘At the start we had played well, moving it from side to side,’ he said. ‘But once we took the lead, we allowed Napoli to take control and in my view we weren’t sharp enough in possession. I had expected there to be difficulties.

‘You win titles with games like these, by picking up difficult points on your travels. We’ve got four games at home now, four away, so we need to do well.

‘On Wednesday we can get our place in the [Coppa Italia] final, we know we’re facing Napoli again and can prepare with great calm.

‘I have to compliment my players, because you can’t always dominate games and especially not against this Napoli. We allowed a few shots in the first half and in the second had moved [Miralem] Pjanic to the midfield, creating some good opportunities.

‘There is absolutely no shame, as the important thing is to bring home the result. We weren’t at our best tonight, it certainly was not an easy night considering everything around the match, but the lads handled it very well.’

Key striker Gonzalo Higuain was returning to the club where he scored 71 Serie A goals in 114 games, and he was given a hostile reception.

But Allegri said the striker had impressed on the pitch, despite not finding the net on the night.

‘Higuain had a good performance, especially in the first half,’ Allegri said.

‘I’m happy with what he did. He is grateful to Napoli, just as Napoli should be grateful to him. They can take separate professional paths, but that’s natural in this business.’