“We got off to a good start then disappeared from the game. We must try to book our place in the Champions League knockout stage on Wednesday”

Massimiliano Allegri was quick to identify areas for improvement after Juve secured a solid yet not entirely convincing win against Cagliari on Saturday night.

“It’s not easy to win 10 out of 11 matches,” he began. “We got off to a good start but weren’t able to add a second and then we disappeared from the game a little.

“We must do better defensively in our own half. We take too many things for granted. We assume we’ll score two or three goals every game but we can’t always do that. We have to be capable of grinding out 1-0 wins too.

“We need to keep clear heads at all times, otherwise we can concede from the opposition’s first cross and then almost concede another from Cagliari’s only chance in the second half. It’s one of the few things we’re not doing so well and we must work on it and concentrate more.

“Now we can focus on Manchester United. We must try to secure our place in the next round on Wednesday and then end this run of matches with a good result at AC Milan before the break.”

Allegri went on to explain the reasons for his substitutions before providing an update on the treatment room ahead of the midweek Champions League clash.

“Douglas Costa had a muscle problem, [Miralem] Pjanic was starting to feel a bit tired and [Blaise] Matuidi picked up a knock.

“[Giorgio] Chiellini will be available on Wednesday and [Federico] Bernardeschi should be too. As for [Mario] Mandzukic, we need to take a look at his ankle and assess him.

The boss then reserved special praise for Rodrigo Bentancur, who was one of Juve’s best performers against Cagliari.

“Rodrigo has come on loads and Pjanic is helping him with his distribution. He reads the game well and is good at winning the ball back high up the pitch. He’s young and he’s improving all the time.”