'Buffon is Buffon': Max Allegri thrilled with goalkeeper's return

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri praised Gianluigi Buffon after the goalkeeper returned from injury to stop a penalty and secure a 1-0 win in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday.

Button, who turned 40 two days earlier, preserved Juve's early lead by diving to his left to stop Alejandro Gomez's shot.

The game was not only Buffon's first action since Dec. 1 after recovering from injury, but also his first appearance since December 2012 in the Coppa Italia, when he usually gives way to his backup.

And Allegri hailed his keeper after the game, saying: "I am happy for Gigi, who hadn't played in the Coppa Italia for five years. He hasn't forgotten everything he knew just for being out of action for 45 days.

"He had a rest for a few weeks, perhaps he needed to put his feet up, but he's back now and he's our first-choice goalkeeper. Wojciech Szczesny did well in his absence and is a champion, but Buffon is Buffon.

"The goalkeepers are helped by the defence and the rest of the team working together to protect the back line."

Despite the slim scoreline, Allegri was confident that his side put in the superior performance, and he insisted he was focused on the games to come in Serie A and the Champions League before the cup resumes on Feb. 28.

"Atalanta didn't really have a shot on target other than the penalty until the final 10 minutes," he said. "We should've done better on the counter and didn't provide enough support for [Gonzalo] Higuain. We must improve, but it's a good result.

"We've got Sassuolo and Fiorentina, then Tottenham, so let's take it one game at a time and not get ahead of ourselves. I am glad we honoured the Coppa Italia again this year."