October 17, 2017 / 6:13 PM / a year ago

Soccer: No crisis here, says Juventus coach Allegri

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Serie A - Atalanta vs Juventus - Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, Bergamo, Italy - October 1, 2017 Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri before the match REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

MILAN (Reuters) - Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has rejected any suggestion that the Serie A champions have slipped into a crisis after their league defeat at home to Lazio on Saturday.

Juve host Sporting in the Champions League on Wednesday still licking their wounds from their first home defeat in more than two years in any competition. The Turin side have slipped five points behind Serie A leaders Napoli while, in the Champions League, they find themselves level on three points in Group D with their Portuguese opponents. Barcelona lead on six, having beaten Juventus 3-0 in their opening game.

“Juventus are absolutely not in crisis,” Allegri told reporters. “The Serie A championship is long and the Champions League is a different competition.

“The atmosphere is good, we must stay level-headed and not get down-hearted because of the defeat against Lazio.” He added: “We have to work on our lapses in concentration and on the way we administer our games.”

Allegri agreed that the Sporting match will be a key encounter in the group. “It’s not me who is saying it, it’s maths,” he said. “If we win the next two games, we qualify, otherwise we have to wait and see what the others do. We need to play a great match in every aspect.”

Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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