Massimiliano Allegri believes Gonzalo Higuain is no traitor and should not feel anyways after scoring the winner against his former club of Napoli.
The Argentine was Napoli’s champion in a bid to overthrow Juventus’ dominance in the league, only for him to sign for the rival club for €90 million in the summer.
He was the focus of the match, but couldn’t be bothered as he scored the winner, after Callejon cancelled out Bonucci’s opener.
Allegri went on to praise Higuain, who refused to celebrate what was his first goal in five games having embraced Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri before the match got under way.
“Gonzalo has extraordinary qualities and above all works hard for the team,” he said. “He was very happy. Naturally this was a special game for him. He made a choice to come here and absolutely should not feel like a traitor. Instead, he made a courageous decision.
“He played a good game and has committed as much as [Mario] Mandzukic. They say that they cannot play together, however, I am very satisfied.”
The hard-fought victory was the Serie A leaders’ sixth on the trot at home in the league, taking them seven points clear of their opponents in third and five above second-placed Roma, who visit struggling Empoli on Sunday.
But with the season only 11 games old, Allegri refused to get carried away.
“It is an important result, but is still not a decisive one,” he said. “Roma can still aspire to the title. They are five points behind but can win tomorrow and Napoli are seven points back but can recover.
“We won a direct clash against a team that plays beautiful football.
“This match was hard-fought, intense and quite balanced and in the second half we ran a few risks with one-against-one situations.
“The game was a little bland in terms of tempo at first, but the intensity stepped up. There were few scoring opportunities – as is natural in these big, top-of-the-table matches.
“I liked the second half, we created and conceded a goal that might have been avoided, but I am satisfied.”