Saturday September 1 2018
D'Aversa: 'I can't risk Gervinho'

Parma Coach Roberto D’Aversa explains why he substituted Gervinho in tonight’s 2-1 defeat to Juventus. “I can’t let him get injured.”

The Ducali put up a real fight at the Stadio Tardini, as Gervinho cancelled out a Mario Mandzukic opener, but they were undone by Blaise Matuidi in the second half.

“I have to compliment the lads, because going behind two minutes in and fighting back to equalise against Juventus isn’t something everyone can do,” D’Aversa told Sky Sport Italia.

“We could even have taken the lead and it was a fantastic performance. There were some technical errors, but we’ll work on those, the important thing was the attitude and with that we can go far.”

The decision to substitute Gervinho on the hour mark surprised everyone, including the Ivory Coast international.

“Clearly I wanted to keep him on for the whole game and I received a lot of insults from the stands, but I am taking some risks with him. He had 20 minutes against SPAL, plus some problems during the week, and I can’t afford to lose him.

“Gervinho has unique technical and physical characteristics, so I can’t let him get injured.”

Parma have only one point from three rounds against Udinese, SPAL and Juventus.

“We dominated Udinese for an hour before that black-out, as we weren’t accustomed to dealing with VAR on penalty decisions, and conceded another entirely avoidable goal moments later.

“Juve kept the ball for long periods, but we did create some good football playing out from the back and we reacted with balance, not allowing Juventus too many spaces to counter.”

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