Del Neri: Juve on track for Europe
Juventus coach Luigi Del Neri felt his team fully deserved victory against Lazio on Monday.
Simone Pepe's 87th-minute goal handed the Turin giants three points at the Stadio Olimpico that sees them back in the hunt for a top-four finish. "I don't think that Juve has stolen anything here," Del Neri said. "We have won this game deservedly."
Juve are now four points behind fourth-placed Lazio, who hold the last UEFA Champions League qualifying spot with three games remaining. Lazio dominated the encounter but wasted several chances before having Cristian Ledesma sent off with ten minutes to go.
"Lazio clearly paid for being down to ten men," Del Neri said. "But my team showed great heart to take home three points."
Juve had drawn their previous two games and host Chievo next weekend while Lazio visit Udinese, who are one point behind the Biancoceleste. "If we can repeat this result I believe Juve can continue to fight for a place in Europe next season," Del Neri said.
"I see my players are very determined and I'm very happy. At times results don't go our way but no one can judge my team's efforts."
The result halted a four-match winning run on home soil for Lazio and means the club is now just one point clear of Udinese and Roma.
"We didn't have an easy night," Lazio coach Edy Reja said. "We certainly deserved more tonight based on what we did. But now we have a key game at Udinese and that is where our season will be determined."