Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti was the reason why Juventus were frustrated in the Coppa Italia, says Andrea Barzagli.
The Italian international produced a string of fine saves at the Juventus Stadium where he was only beaten by a controversial Federico Peluso goal.
Lazio then hit back late in the game with a strike from Stefano Mauri ahead of next week’s semi-final second leg in Rome.
“Marchetti pulled off some extraordinary saves,” the centre-back noted after the 1-1 draw. “There were two or three rebounds in the area that didn’t fall in our favour either.
“Is Marchetti enhanced against Juventus? It’s not just against us, as he is having a great season. He is a very good goalkeeper and showed that with some amazing saves in the League contest, as well as today in the Coppa Italia.
“We conceded the equaliser from our mistake and it’s a shame because Marco Storari was barely called into action throughout the entire game.”
Juventus did create chances despite an injury crisis which saw midfielder Claudio Marchisio used in a more advanced position.
“Everyone put in excellent performances,” the Azzurri stopper continued. “Our entire squad displays full commitment and that was evident against Lazio.”
Barzagli was also asked for an opinion on Luca Marrone – the youngster who played alongside him in Juve’s three-man defence on Tuesday.
“Marrone possesses great quality,” he commented. “He’s good at man marking and can withstand physical contact.
“He’s very good as a central midfielder, but he also knows how to adapt well as a central defender. When he’ll be able to play more regularly he’ll also gain consistency and will be the future of Juventus.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.