Allegri lauds A-League’s stars

Massimiliano Allegri admits he was surprised by the quality of the Foxtel A-League All Stars after Juventus stole a late victory at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night.

Late goals to Paul Pogba (88th minute) and Simone Pepe (93rd) saved the Italian champions blushes as the Hyundai A-League’s best put up a superb showing in front of more than 55,000 fans.

The All Stars dominated the first half and had a lead to show for it with Marcelo Carrusca finishing off a superb move inside 10 minutes.

Despite a Fernando Llorente equalizer on the hour mark, the home side regained the lead through substitute Tomi Juric with 13 minutes left before the Bianconeri’s late show.

“It was a good game and Juventus met a team that was very well organised,” the new Juventus boss said.

“We suffered some big pressure particularly in the first half where we made some big technical mistakes.

“Overall it was better in the second half but we still need to work quite a lot on the physical side, the legs were getting tired.

“I was surprised by the good organization. They were really playing good and the team and coach did very well.”

While much of the focus was on former Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero, Allegri said he was impressed by a few other players from the All Stars line-up.

“We knew about Del Piero of course but (Besart) Berisha played very well and (Bernie Ibini) played very well also.

“The organization was their strength considering they only had 10 days preparation.

“It was a good test for Juventus. It was a great team to play against so was a very good experience for us.

“It was great to have such a warm welcome in Sydney and playing in front of 55,000 people is always a good experience.”

With the start of their Serie A title defence just three weeks away, Juventus still have plenty of work to do to be ready for the new season.

While impressed with their fightback after half-time, the manner of the two goals they conceded was a concern.

“The two goals were both from exit balls, the first part of the pitch from the goalkeeper to the defenders,” he said.

“Maybe we should improve more as a team rather than the defence, play more as a team and support the construction part of the game.

“We changed something in the in last 15 minutes which made the whole team work better.”