Italian hero Chiesa fights for Juve ahead of Chelsea visit

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Milan (AFP) – Federico Chiesa started his second season at Juventus with an uncertain position in the plans of coach Massimiliano Allegri, despite being one of the heroes of Italy’s Euro triumph 2020.

Six matches in the Serie A season Chiesa has started in fewer games than it has helped Italy win this summer’s European Championship, with Allegri focusing on Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata as pillars of his attack on Juve.

However, with the pair injured and absent from defending champions Chelsea’s Champions League visit on Wednesday, Chiesa will be among those looking to enjoy another breakthrough performance.

He evened the scores in Juve’s 3-2 midweek victory at Spezia with typical skill and persistence, knocking Dimitrios Nikolaou out of the game before forcing his only goal of the season so far.

However, he infuriated Allegri on Sunday when he lost a glorious opportunity to score with Juve a goal ahead in a narrow 3-2 victory over Sampdoria.

The 23-year-old received a nice pass from his Italian teammate Manuel Locatelli, then made his way to a shot chance that never presented itself in a crowded penalty area at the Allianz Stadium.

Luckily for the home side, Locatelli was there seconds later to score the goal, which saw Juve win their second game on the rebound, but Allegri’s annoyance was clear.

It wasn’t the first time that Chiesa has annoyed Allegri, who returned to the bench for Juve this summer after a two-year absence and had a rough start with his side in the middle of the table.

He targeted Chiesa for criticism after Juve’s 1-1 draw at home against AC Milan, when he came on four minutes before Ante Rebic scored the Rossoneri’s equalizer and failed. not done much as Milan were on the verge of winning.

“He came at a difficult time and I needed him to bring the ball into the opposing midfield,” said Allegri.

“He’s a good player but he has to grow up and realize what he is capable of, we are Juventus.”

The message was clear: Chiesa has everything he needs to be a great player but isn’t doing it yet.

Allegri’s lack of self-confidence stands in stark contrast to the way he worked his way through Italian football history at Euro, battling and winning a place in Roberto Mancini’s first eleven.

He only made his first start in the third group game against Wales with the qualification for the round of 16 already decided, and it was only when he came off the bench to open the scoring in overtime against Austria in the round of 16 that he cemented his place in the top three of Mancini.

With Dybala and Morata, he has more room to make an impact in a huge test for Juventus, as Chelsea come to town eager to bounce back from their home loss to Manchester on City.

It is also an opportunity to make a stronger impression before the next international break, during which Italy will try to add the League of Nations to its trophy cabinet, as a handful of attacking talents follow suit. not to have the opportunity to play for the European champions.


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