Milan: Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has come to the conclusion that everyone in Italy is against the Turin side.
Leaders and title holders Juventus, who have a 100 percent record after six matches, visit bottom-of-the-table Sassuolo on Saturday (1845 GMT), hoping that the dust will finally have settled after their controversial 3-2 win Roma 10 days ago.
Roma were furious after Juventus were awarded two first-half penalties, playmaker Francesco Totti complaining that "Juventus always win, by hook or by crook." Italian politicians fuelled the row as they tabled questions in parliament and even complained to the stock market regulator.
"There are 50 million supporters in Italy and 12 million are Juventus supporters," Allegri said in an interview with the Corriere della Sera. "The others are Milan, Inter and Roma supporters and so on, but all of them are against us. Now, I`ve realised that."
Allegri, who was appointed in July, complained that the controversy had overshadowed an outstanding game and, in doing so, underlined the problems facing Serie A.
"What has really harmed Italian football is that so much has been said about those episodes and very little about the match,” he said. “From a technical point of view, it was good, intense and great to watch, but there has been silence about this," said the phlegmatic coach.
"People have overlooked Juve`s outstanding performance against Roma, an excellent team who, in Francesco Totti, have an extraordinary player." He complained that similar incidents passed off unnoticed in many matches.
"We have to give more appreciation to good play instead of looking for excuses," he said. "The referee`s decisions became a huge talking point because it was Juve-Roma. "If the same things happened in a mid-table match, nobody would be talking about it."
"We also put the emphasis on the less good things. Everyone says that Italian football is a mess, but nobody does anything for it to improve. Everyone says that Italian referees are the worst, but then we find an Italian refereeing the World Cup final."
With 18 points in the bag already, Juventus, who last season finished 17 points clear of the rest of the field, are again threatening to leave the others standing as they aim for a fourth successive league title.
Roma, for whom the Juventus defeat was the first of the season, kick off the weekend`s matches at home to Chievo on Saturday (1600).
Sampdoria, a point behind Roma in third place with 14 points and the only other unbeaten side, are at Cagliari on Sunday (1300)
There is likely to be plenty of drama and tension at San Siro where Inter Milan, in crisis mode after losing their last two matches by three-goal margins, host Napoli, who have overcome a poor start by winning their last two (Sunday 1845).
Inter coach Walter Mazzarri, who has an increasingly testy relationship with the media, said before the international break that he knew what the team’s problems were and their supporters will discover on Sunday whether he has managed to solve them.