Allegri slams mistakes as Juve slip up again

Frosinone's Leonardo Blanchard (second from right) celebrating with his team-mates after scoring against Juventus to earn the Serie A newcomers' first-ever point in the Italian top-flight.
Frosinone's Leonardo Blanchard (second from right) celebrating with his team-mates after scoring against Juventus to earn the Serie A newcomers' first-ever point in the Italian top-flight.PHOTO: REUTERS

MILAN • Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has fired a warning shot to the stuttering Turin giants after another league setback left the Italian champions 10 points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan.

From the joy of reaching last season's Champions League final and a first League and Cup Double in 20 years, the Bianconeri have come back to earth with a bump.

Juve have won just one of their five opening league games, and endured the ignominy of becoming the first team to allow lowly Frosinone gain their first-ever Serie A point when the league newcomers earned a late 1-1 draw in Turin on Wednesday.

Up until now, Allegri has called for his side - which welcomed a raft of new players following the departures of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and striker Carlos Tevez - to be given patience to gel.

But his own patience appears to be wearing thin.

"We have to grow as a team by winning games, not by making costly mistakes," Allegri said after Leonardo Blanchard headed home for Frosinone in stoppage time to level Simone Zaza's second-half strike for the champions.

"We need to work and improve to bring this squad up to a certain level. We have to develop, otherwise we'll become a team that can beat everybody but also be beaten by everybody."

Juventus dominated Frosinone from the outset and created ample opportunities to score, Paul Pogba notably firing a header off the crossbar. However, Frosinone's defensive tactics frustrated the champions throughout the match.

Allegri switched to a 3-5-2 formation halfway through and while Juve's chances on goal increased, Frosinone stubbornly dug in.

When the hosts gave away a corner late in the game, they paid for it dearly when Blanchard was allowed to rise above the Juve defence and score with a header.

Blanchard's goal was all the more ironic as, several months ago, the Juve-supporting defender had travelled to Berlin to watch Juventus in their 3-1 Champions League final defeat by Barcelona.

For the minnows' coach Roberto Stellone, the historic point was all the more enjoyable as he used to play for Juve's city rivals Torino, although he admitted Frosinone's tactics did not warrant them earning anything from the game.

"We shouldn't have deserved to get a point," he told Sky Sport Italia. "When Juve changed tactics halfway through, they put us in trouble. They were winning all the duels.

"But we tried to hang on, we put another forward up front to try and boost our chances on the counter-attack. The positive thing is we believed right up till the end." AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2015, with the headline 'Allegri slams mistakes as Juve slip up again'. Print Edition | Subscribe