Juventus has the upper hand in their Coppa Italia semifinal tie vs. Inter Milan thanks in large part to a brace from the struggling Alvaro Morata, and manager Massimiliano Allegri has said he knew the Spaniard's form would return.
Morata, 23, hadn't scored in 20 games, but the striker had come close in recent outings and put it together in a 3-0 win against Inter, scoring a penalty in the 36th minute and adding his second from the run of play in the 63rd.
"Morata had put in some good performances recently and gone close to a goal," Allegri told Rai Sport. "He did well tonight technically, physically, kept his cool converting the penalty -- which wasn't easy -- and did well to score the second goal.
"I realise a striker gets sad when he doesn't score goals, I understand that, but it's not as if Morata lost all his talent in a couple of months."
Allegri hailed his team's overall form of late -- with Juventus having won 14 of their last 15 matches across all competitions -- and praised his organised defence against a talented Inter side.
"[We] could've done better creating chances going forward, but at this moment the lads are giving the fans and club some great satisfactions," Allegri said. "We are still second in Serie A, so must try to reach first, and the semifinal of the Coppa Italia isn't over yet.
"When you get a lot of victories in two months, you do tend to think about what has been achieved. We mustn't do that. We have to press the reset button, put a wall behind us and focus on what we can do going forward.
"We are two points behind Napoli, now it's a mini-League of 17 rounds and we have to focus on being better than Napoli in that period."
With Juventus also readying for a Champions League round of 16 tie with Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, Allegri was asked if his team would try to maintain their form in Serie A and in Europe.
"I don't like the word maintain, as that means resting on our laurels. We need to improve and the lads know that's what we are working on," Allegri said.
"Bayern Munich will respect us just as we respect them. It'll be a great round of 16. In the Champions League knockouts you need a bit of luck too and never can tell what is going to happen.
"I always say Juventus have to play on level terms with any opponent, including Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona.
"Naturally, we both think we could've had a better draw!"
The Italian manager also played down speculation that he was in contention for the Chelsea job, with interim manager Guus Hiddink expected to be replaced by a more high-profile name at the end of the 2015-16 season.
"At this moment there are other things to think about. I have a contract until June 2017, I am happy at Juventus. In football it's the results that count. So far we have done good things, but we haven't achieved anything yet," he said.
"Even in the Coppa Italia semifinal there's a 3-0 first leg result, but we still have to play another 90 minutes at San Siro."
Meanwhile, rival manager Roberto Mancini called the first leg "strange" and said he felt the final score was unfair to his Inter side -- who finished with 10 men after Jeison Murillo was sent off with two yellow cards -- despite the Nerazzurri rarely threatening the Juve goal.
"[It was] a balanced game. Juventus pushed more and found the penalty [Morata's opener]," Mancini said. "It was a strange game. The 3-0 seems an exaggerated result, but this is football. That was the game we wanted to play, we could have been more effective in front of goal, but up until the penalty Juve had created little.
"The result is quite difficult to [come back from]. Miranda and Murillo will be missing, but we will find a solution.
"Juve deserved to win, but I do not remember Handanovic's saves or times when we were in difficulty. We have to remain calm and peaceful, despite the disappointment of the result."