La Gazzetta dello Sport didn’t hold back in their assessment of Max Allegri after Juventus’ 2-1 defeat at home to Sassuolo on Wednesday evening.
“Allegri didn’t notice that football has changed.”
It’s been a rough start to Allegri’s return to Turin having been defeated three times already, including home defeats to Empoli and now Sassuolo.
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There have been positives, most notably the 1-0 victory over European champions Chelsea in the Champions League, but they are now 13 points off leaders Milan, who are yet to lose in ten games.
In order to get some more reaction and some thoughts on the situation with Juve we got in touch with Samuele Ragusa from Eurosport Italy.

What went wrong on Wednesday?

Let’s start with the simple stuff, just what happened against Sassuolo?
“As Allegri said at the end of the match: ‘If you can't win these types of matches, you have to not lose these’”, says Ragusa to begin.

Massimiliano Allegri

Image credit: Getty Images

“Obviously, Juventus were trying to win yesterday's match and at the end were unlucky to suffer Sassuolo's final goal, but a team that has aims like winning the league can't lose a match like this.
“One of the most serious problems is that Juventus are not able to score more than one goal during a lot of their recent matches, and you can't always win 1-0...”
It’s a good point to make, Juve have failed to score more than once in their last six matches in all competitions, a worrying trend indeed.

Has something changed?

It’s now two games without a win for Juve, for most clubs not a cause for concern, but Juve are not most clubs.
It is worth pointing out that the game before this was a 1-1 draw away at Inter in the Derby d’Italia, not a bad result by any means.

Maxime Lopez, Manuel Locatelli, Juventus-Sassuolo, Serie A 2021-22, Getty Images

Image credit: Getty Images

“I don't think that the San Siro draw was a bad result when analysing Juventus' match against Inter Milan,” Ragusa agrees.
“They found their goal via the penalty spot during the final minutes of the match, doing better than this would be very difficult given how Juventus played.
“Allegri has a lot of work to do, most of all on the mentality of this team: his players have to dare more and more, trying to build a more solid game.”

Are there specific issues with any of the players?

“Something isn't working in these first few months in Juventus and that is that Chiesa, one of the best player of the last European Championship and Juventus, couldn’t find his best football.
“Plus Dybala came back from his injury only a few days ago - the same for Morata - Kean and Kulusevski can't do all on their own. As you can see, what worked well was Juventus' defense, at least before the last match against Sassuolo…”

Paulo Dybala of Juventus reacts, Juventus v Sassuolo, Serie A, Italian Serie A, Juventus Stadium, Turin, October 27, 2021

Image credit: Getty Images

Are they out of the title race?

As we mentioned above, that defeat leaves Juventus 13 points off top spot. Plus this is a hyper-competitive Serie A this season. If Napoli win their game in hand they will move level on points with Milan.
And between those two sides there are Inter, Roma, Atalanta and Lazio before you get to Juve in the table. It’s not as simple as it was before when they were the dominant force in Italy.
So can they come back?

Mattia De Sciglio of Juventus reacts as he leaves the pitch following a knee injury, Juventus v Sassuolo, Serie A, Italian Serie A, Juventus Stadium, Turin, October 27, 2021

Image credit: Getty Images

“It wouldn’t be the first time that Juventus came back to win the title after a difficult start,” admits Ragusa.
“But seeing Napoli, Milan and Inter, they appear more solid. This season has just started and anyuthing can happen, but if Juventus play like last week, their chances to win the title will be very low.”

And what would that mean for Allegri? Could he be sacked?

Allegri is Juventus’ third manager in as many seasons. The Juve board certainly seems to have become less patient as the gap between them and the rest was closed.
Could Allegri be fired if the title isn’t won?
“I think so, as at the end of last season Pirlo was sacked after just one year.
“You just have to think back to Maurizo Sarri, who was fired despite winning the title.
“Juventus have to build a new cycle, but every new cycle has to start with a trophy. However all would change if something happens in the Champions League...”
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