Gennaro Gattuso had seen Gonzalo Higuain’s emotional state as a problem ahead of the dismissal against Juventus. “He needs to learn to control himself.”
Pipita had a nightmare against his old club, seeing a penalty saved by Wojciech Szczesny and then sent off for raging at the referee.
“We mustn’t try to cling to alibis, yellow cards or not. We lost to a team that was clearly stronger than us,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia after a 2-0 defeat.
“I also don’t want to talk about who wasn’t here. We were up against a team that has been winning for years and adds a big star every summer.
“We did what we had to do, we remained in the game and were naïve on the second goal, but Juve didn’t crush us. We played well for periods, but Juve are on a different level and we have to accept it.
“Maybe the penalty would’ve changed something, but we did struggle against their physicality and pace.”
Was Higuain meant to take the penalty?
“There are several penalty takers and they decide between themselves. He felt like taking it, he got it wrong, these things happen. Kessie missed one last season too.
“I do hope Pipita apologises to the referee for his attitude. He needs to learn to control himself more. I saw how much pressure he felt on his shoulders, taking a penalty against his old club, anyone who has played football knows that emotions can get to you in these situations.
“Juventus aren’t just the strongest side in Italy right now, they are on the same level as Barcelona and Manchester City. I still think we could’ve stayed in the game to the end, and we very nearly did. For the first 20-25 minutes of the second half, we created some chances and stole the ball off them.
“We weren’t sharp enough. Hakan Calhanoglu had the chance to change play three or four times, but he never did. We know he’s got this pain at the top of his foot and is trying to carry on through the pain, but he’s not at his best.
“Unfortunately, we had some sparks, but ultimately I never got the feeling we were hurting Juve. We were worried in defence and fortunately they didn’t spot Blaise Matuidi’s runs, or they could’ve hurt us even more.
“Samu Castillejo never found his position, but we certainly did better after moving to 4-3-3.”