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Football Reporting


‘We could not have played worse’ – Pirlo slams Juventus players after Inter loss

Although the Turin giants are seven points off the leaders, the former Italy midfielder has not given up on winning the title

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo has criticised the display of his players after the 2-0 loss against Inter on Sunday.

The San Siro club raced into the lead through Arturo Vidal in the first half before Nicolo Barella added a second soon after the break.

Defeat leaves Juve fifth in the Serie A standings, seven points behind co-leaders AC Milan and Inter.

Pirlo launched an attack on his players following the match.

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“It’s a bad defeat, we could not have played worse than this and it was unexpected, but we have to lift our heads and prepare for Wednesday and the Supercoppa against Napoli,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We got the attitude wrong from the start and when you don’t have the determination to win duels, it becomes difficult,” he continued.

“We just didn’t step onto the pitch, we were timorous, afraid of Inter’s attacking play, so in our minds we only focused on defending and weren’t even very aggressive with that either. We allowed Inter to take the initiative and they became devastating in those circumstances.

“Individual quality can only shine if you first match the opposition in terms of aggression and determination. We didn’t do that and it showed.”

Pirlo is not about to admit defeat in the race for the title, though.

“Our ambitions remain the same,” he said. “It’s a slip-up against a strong opponent, these things happen, but what I am disappointed by is the attitude. A side like Juventus must come here with a certain confidence and ambition, the desire to take the initiative and steer the game in a certain direction, but we were too timid.

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“We were too slow in our passing and above all did it with our defenders rather than the midfielders. We wanted to create the situation where [Federico] Chiesa could take men on or [Aaron] Ramsey could go between the lines. That didn’t happen, because we moved it too slowly and too deep, so we never really pulled Inter players out of position. We were too predictable.

“The coach is always the first to take the blame, because if the team didn’t do what we planned, it means we didn’t understand the plan.

“We were disorganised on the opening goal, didn’t follow their through runs and were caught out. It all became more difficult from there.”

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