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Juventus return to winning ways in Serie A

Press Association logoPress Association 22/01/2017

Massimiliano Allegri has urged his side to believe in their own greatness after Juventus returned to winning ways against Lazio in Italy's Serie A.

Allegri named a bold line-up on Sunday, with Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Mario Mandzukic and Juan Cuadrado all starting, and it paid dividends.

Juve were 2-0 up inside 16 minutes through Dybala and Higuain and the only disappointment was they could not convert a number of chances to make the victory even more emphatic.

Allegri got the reaction he had been hoping for after last weekend's loss to Fiorentina, and he said on juventus.com: "Today we had great responsibility on our shoulders.

"The players responded really well and they deserve the credit for this performance. I asked them to play as a team and they did so.

"Besides hunger and desire, which you need to win any game, the team played well from a technical perspective. The two must go hand in hand. Of course, we could have done better in the final third but I'm pleased because we gave a big response.

"The team have to keep this tempo up whatever formation we operate in. We must be aware of how good we are and have belief in ourselves and our ability, even though to make the step up in the Champions League we have to be a little bit meaner."

Lazio are now eight points behind Serie A leaders Juve having played a game more, and manager Simone Inzaghi bemoaned his side's start.

He said on sslazio.it: "We knew it would be difficult this game. If you concede two goals in the first 15 minutes it becomes even more complicated.

"I had hoped for a different approach to the match. We conceded two goals that we could have avoided. From tomorrow we will analyse our mistakes. These games help us to grow.

"I would have preferred to have played another type of game - it is the first time that we lost deservedly."

In other matches on Sunday (Monday AEDT), Bologna beat Torino 2-0, Empoli beat Udinese 1-0, Genoa and Crotone drew 2-2, Inter beat Palermon 1-0, Sassuolo beat Pescara 3-1 and Atalanta beat Sampdoria 1-0.

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