Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri praised his team for their response after a 2-0 win over rivals AC Milan in Serie A on Sunday.
Goals from Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo at San Siro led Juve to their win, which saw them set a record for points (34) through 12 Serie A games.
It came four days after their surprise Champions League loss to Manchester United and Allegri was pleased with the way his side bounced back, although they needed Wojciech Szczesny to deny Gonzalo Higuain – who was later sent off – from the penalty spot in the first half.
“Losing against Manchester United has done us good and it was a good response from the team,” he said, via the club’s website.
“We were a bit shell-shocked by the result on Wednesday but the boys went on the attack straight away in this game.
“We gave away a penalty after a counter-attack, which was the only time Alex Sandro and [Blaise] Matuidi both pushed up, but Szczesny did really well to save.
“This game is a big step forward in the league because we’ve created a nine-point gap with Inter and we’re still six points clear of Napoli.”
After Mandzukic’s eighth-minute opener, Higuain had the chance to draw Milan level from the spot before the break, only to be denied by Szczesny.
Instead, Ronaldo doubled Juve’s lead with nine minutes remaining before Higuain was sent off for dissent to complete a miserable outing.
Allegri said: “In the first half, we perhaps could have organised ourselves better in possession. In the second we did better and we were ruthless from a defensive point of view.
“We need to shoot more on goal from outside the box, so as to put more pressure on our opponents. When we play with [Paulo] Dybala, Mandzukic and Ronaldo we’re less structured in attack, but it gives the opposition fewer reference points.
“With the height in the side, we had more joy from balls forward and crosses. We’ve got players that are better at attacking the far post, rather than the near post, and that was something we did well. Earlier in the season we were hitting our crosses low.”