Juventus director of football Alessio Secco has come out in defence of Alessandro Del Piero, following criticism by Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini.
Gasperini accused the Bianconeri striker of being ‘crafty’ in winning a penalty in this past weekend’s 3-2 victory over the Rossoblu at the Stadio Olimpico.
Del Piero rejected Gasperini’s accusations after the game, claiming it was a clear foul and that he was unaware contact was outside the area, and Secco has now shown support for the 35-year-old.
“It’s true that our captain was caught outside the area, but he didn’t ask the referee for anything. We were just lucky,” said Secco.
“I watched the penalty again that Del Piero won, and it wasn’t crafty, as Gasperini said. The foul was clear and wasn’t offside even though it was outside the area.
“Del Piero didn’t appeal for anything – the referee gave the penalty and we were lucky, like we haven’t been in other matches. In football you have to accept the good and the bad.”
Del Piero’s 77th minute penalty gave Juventus their first victory in the league since the beginning of January, much to the delight of Ciro Ferrara’s replacement, Alberto Zaccheroni.
Despite the importance of Juve’s victory in rebuilding confidence and the race for Champions League qualification, the Old Lady’s coach still conceded the referee had made a mistake.
“It was on the edge of the area, and it’s always hard for the referee to judge. The contact was there, but it was outside the area,” said Zaccheroni.
Juve travel to Bologna this weekend while the Rossoblu host struggling Udinese.