Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri criticized his players for letting their guard down and losing 2-1 at archrivals Inter after taking the lead in the second half at the San Siro in Milan.
Inter captain Mauro Icardi headed in from a corner two minutes after Stephan Liechtsteiner had given Juve the lead, then substitute Ivan Perisic glanced home the winner to end the champions’ perfect start to the Serie A season.
“We couldn’t even hold on to the lead for two minutes,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia. “We were sluggish and complacent, and dropped our intensity. This defeat has to burn within us and teach us a real lesson, and get our feet back on the ground.”
Allegri also defended his decision to start without Gonzalo Higuain, who came on for Mario Mandzukic with 16 minutes left to no avail.
“For me our preparation was correct and next time we will play without Mario. We have had top opponents in our first four games and, although it would have been wonderful to have taken 12 points from them, this is not a tragedy,” Allegri said. “It was a dirty, rough game and a real battle. We needed more determination and hunger to bring home the result, especially once we had gone in front.”
Inter coach Frank de Boer praised his team for not letting their heads drop after conceding the first goal.
“We talked a lot about this, as we have gone behind and lost our heads three or four times this season. It’s even worse if you’re playing against Juve,” the Dutch coach said.
“This time we stayed focused and did not stray from our approach, and it really paid off,” he said.
De Boer had endured a difficult start with Inter since succeeding Roberto Mancini in the summer, taking four points from the first three league games and losing 2-0 at home to Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheeva in the UEFA Europa League last week.
The former Ajax coach said Inter still have work to do to ensure the victory over Juventus is not a one-off.
“It was a fine performance from the whole team and that’s how it should work, the whole side has to move in the same way, but we need to do it every week,” De Boer said. “It’s always nice after victories like this against the best side in Italy to think of such matters, but the most important thing is to prepare for our next game with Empoli.”
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