Ranieri hails Juventus supersub Del Piero

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri hailed supersub Alessandro del Piero after yesterday's 5-0 demolition of Palermo.

Del Piero was on the bench for the 5-0 demolition job on Palermo, but in his 20 minutes on the field scored two goals and set up another for Marco Marchionni.

Ranieri gushed: "Everyone in this squad deserves to play, but it is better for a Coach to have these dilemmas rather than struggling to fill the gaps.

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"He has the right hunger and dived right into the game. I saw he had a bit of a row with Raffaele Palladino, but he is the captain and was right in making sure his status was respected."

The Under-21 international had complained about a pass when Del Piero was caught on camera telling Palladino to "shut up."

Ranieri added: "I was very worried beforehand, as Palermo are a great squad and were unbeaten in six. We were afraid of them, but did not allow them to launch their usual counter-attacks.

"I am very happy with the performance, all the players are in good shape. I saw a great spirit and we are proving that with each game. What we may lack in quality we make up for in character."

Juventus are in second place alongside Roma and Udinese on 25 points, but the Giallorossi and leaders Inter have a game in hand.

"It is a very entertaining season and we want to keep it alive as long as possible."

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