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SERIE A

Ronaldo and Dybala can play together, insists Allegri

Ronaldo and Dybala can play together, insists Allegri

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Massimiliano Allegri said time on the bench could help players "rediscover the right mental toughness" after he dropped Paulo Dybala.

Massimiliano Allegri insisted Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala can play together despite seeing Juventus return to winning ways after dropping the Argentinian.

Dybala was made to apologise after he stormed off the touchline during Juve's 3-3 draw with Parma and he was among the substitutes as the Bianconeri bounced back with a 3-0 win at Sassuolo.

Allegri brought Dybala on for the final seven minutes of the game, by which time goals from Sami Khedira and Ronaldo had put the Serie A champions in control, and Emre Can added a third as the visitors went 11 points clear at the top of the table.

Allegri explained his team selection to Sky Sport Italia, saying: "I compliment the team for a clean sheet, which is very important. We're in good shape.

"Ronaldo and Dybala can certainly play together and they will do, but we need everyone to work hard in order to keep the team balanced.

"It all depends on who you are playing against. If the opponents are really clammed up, you need to pass around them. If they leave gaps, you pass between the lines.

"Sassuolo have a strong midfield, so I had to balance my team that way."

Dybala has scored just two Serie A goals in 20 appearances this season and is set to fall well short of the 22-goal haul he achieved in 2017-18.

Allegri explained the 25-year-old remains an important player but indicated the arrival of Ronaldo this season had made Dybala less effective in certain games.

"Players are disappointed, but every now and then sitting on the bench is necessary to recharge the batteries and rediscover the right mental toughness," said Allegri.

"Different players have different characteristics. Dybala is playing the same role as he did last year and the year before.

"It's just having Ronaldo, who is more of a striker, we need someone to find the space. We still need bodies in the box.

"You can play Dybala and Ronaldo, it just depends on the situations. Ronaldo played with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, so it's not like they're insane at Real Madrid.

"Everyone needs the right partner. Mario Mandzukic is very helpful for Dybala and for Ronaldo."