Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri thanked Mario Mandzukic for getting sent off in his side's pulsating 6-2 win over Udinese at Stadio Friuli.
The Croatia striker received his marching orders for two quick-fire yellow cards midway through the first half when the Bianconeri were 2-1 ahead.
The hosts took advantage of their numerical superiority just after the break as Danilo headed in, before a stirring fightback saw Juve score four times without reply to seal a first Serie A win in three games.
Rather than lambast Mandzukic for his stupidity, Allegri instead explained the 31-year-old's dismissal forced his side to play a different, and ultimately successful, way.
"I wanted to rest Mandzukic for the next game anyway," he joked on Mediaset Premium. "In fact, I want to thank him, because we had to get back to winning games by defending and suffering for the result, so we can only thank him.
“Over the last two games we had decent performances, but we needed something like this. Down to 10 men, the team was much more focused.
“I said beforehand that this was a key moment in the season, as it would allow us to close up on the leaders. A negative result tonight would’ve been really difficult to swallow. Our fitness levels are growing, players are returning from injury and it’ll be important going forward.
“Sami Khedira’s presence has also helped Miralem Pjanic in midfield. The first year, Khedira was with Pogba and he would push forward when he felt it necessary, but we are a different team now, much more attack-minded.”
Khedira was the pick of the Juve players, scoring a superb hat-trick, but the Germany international was refusing to get carried away after such an emphatic victory.
"I’m happy that we won this difficult game, as it was super important after the two matches against Atalanta and Lazio. It’s the first hat-trick of my career, so that’s great, but I am above all happy with the win," he told Sky Sport Italia.
"It’s always difficult for Juventus when we’re not winning, especially after Mario’s red card. It was not easy for us, but we are still one of the best teams in Europe and we proved that today.
"We always said there’s a long way to go, but after yesterday’s result it was very important we win today. It’s still super difficult, as we have SPAL in the midweek round and then Milan next weekend."
|´Toughest pretty boy I´ve ever met´ - Langer dismisses Paine concerns|
|Van Dijk says Liverpool can challenge for double ahead of Napoli decider|
|Hazard: I´ve always loved Real Madrid|
|Yankees interested in Machado, not Harper - Cashman|
|Warriors´ Curry believes moon landing was faked|
|76ers star Butler suffers strained groin|
|Brady: Patriots still have a lot of football to play|
|´No one died´ - Belichick´s message to Patriots after stunning loss|
|Silva lauds Digne after stunning free-kick|
|Aduriz joins Messi, Ramos in LaLiga history books|
|We have a plan - Ravens coach Harbaugh prepared for Flacco return|
|´It´s difficult to accept´ - Gracia calls for introduction of VAR|
|LaLiga press on with overseas match plan despite Barcelona withdrawal|
|PSG open Coupe de France defence at fifth-tier Pontivy|
|Hazard backs Sterling as Neville reveals England star´s Euro 2016 concerns|
|Everton 2 Watford 2: Digne salvages draw with 96th-minute free-kick|
|Barcelona could ´steal´ Kane, says Pochettino|
|Oakland Raiders fire general manager McKenzie|
|Struggling Villarreal appoint Garcia Plaza as Calleja successor|
|Warriors assign Cousins to G League team|
|Barcelona pull out of plan to play LaLiga game in Miami|
|Pochettino to keep an eye on Inter when Spurs face Barcelona|
|Pochettino confirms Walker-Peters set to start against Barcelona|
|Denver Nuggets add free agent Young|
|Topping Group A no magic wand for an easy knockout draw, says Simeone|
|The cake has been made, now we need the cherry - Ancelotti targets repeat at Anfield|
|Lloris braced to face ´one of the best in history´ in Messi|
|Tuchel expects Neymar to face Red Star|
|Foden signs Manchester City deal to 2024|
|It happened to me! - Valverde laughs off Dembele timekeeping|
|´Projecting´ an Argentina return? Messi met with AFA president and Scaloni|
|Erasmus expects to leave head coach role after World Cup|
|Chelsea issue suspensions pending investigation into Sterling incident|
|Kane is extraordinary – Valverde hails reported Barcelona target|
|Man behind Naomi Osaka´s rise wins WTA Coach of the Year|
|England name unchanged Test squad as Willey returns for West Indies ODIs|
|Spalletti: No issue with Icardi watching Superclasico in Madrid|
|Klopp confirms 2013 talks with ´chatty´ Napoli president De Laurentiis|
|Sri Lanka spinner Dananjaya suspended due to illegal action|
|His reaction was just brilliant – Klopp praises Sterling for response to abuse|
|Gomez renewal a ´smart decision´ for both parties – Klopp|
|Magnificent Molinari named European Golfer of the Year|
|Barcelona best option for Frenkie de Jong, insists midfielder´s father|
|Gronkowski on Miami Miracle: ´Got to make that tackle´|
|Tottenham youngster Walker-Peters signs on until 2023|
|Juventus ´more of a family´ than Real Madrid - Ronaldo|
|Kingsley Coman contemplates retirement if injury nightmare continues|
|McVay ´sick´ over offensive failings as Rams coach takes blame for loss|
|Calleja axed as Villarreal coach|
|Kenyan Drake on Miami Miracle: I couldn´t let Gronk tackle me!|
|Ronaldo: I deserved Ballon d´Or, the numbers don´t lie|
|Rugby Australia to make Cheika decision this month|
|England defender Gomez signs new Liverpool deal|
|Ronaldo wants to see Messi follow him to Italy|
|Neymar happy to play in any position for PSG - Draxler|
|Paine insists he is ´fine´ after taking blow to finger|
|Ponzio: River players will be ´idolised´ for Libertadores success|
|Champions League permutations: How Inter, PSG and Liverpool can progress|
|Kohli: India were better and deserved to win|
|Bears shut down Goff, Rams|
|India survive dramatic finish against Australia|
|Klopp calls for electric Anfield atmosphere against Napoli|
|Saints clinch back-to-back NFC South titles, Bears trump Rams|
|Bucks improve to 2-0 against Raptors with win in Toronto|
|Black Caps include Patel for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Maidana: River want Real Madrid clash|
|Cowboys top Eagles in OT behind stellar Cooper display|
|AC Milan evaluating Fabregas signing – Leonardo|
|WATCH: Steelers´ chance at game-tying field goal slips away|
|Hayne will plead not guilty to charges, says lawyer|