Maurizio Sarri warned “it takes a while to change mentality” at Juventus after their 1-1 draw with Inter, but Gigi Buffon is “a born fighter.”
The Bianconeri were held to a 1-1 draw by Inter in Nanjing, winning a penalty shoot-out thanks to three Gigi Buffon spot-kick saves for their first International Champions Cup points.
Matthijs de Ligt had scored an own goal in his first start for Juve, cancelled out by a deflected Cristiano Ronaldo free kick.
“De Ligt was playing during our worst period of the game, but he has no responsibility in that,” assured Sarri on Sportitalia.
“Ronaldo had the usual excellent performance. We can improve a great deal in our attacking moves and that would make it easier for him.
“Buffon’s great strength is that he’s a born fighter. He was ready when called upon and was extraordinary in the shoot-out.”
Juventus had lost their first International Champions Cup game 3-2 to Tottenham Hotspur in stoppages.
“It was a not dissimilar game to the one we played against Tottenham, struggling at the start and with a low tempo. We did very well in the second half, pressing the opposition high on their wing-backs.
“We can improve, particularly on pressing high to win the ball back when defending. We must focus on defending by going forward, not allowing them to get behind us.
“We did that better in the first half-hour of the second half, with more courage, more pressing to regain possession.
“It’s normal that it takes a while to change that mentality. I made a mistake this morning, as I got them to have a 45-minute training session, but we felt it in this heat.
“I told the players in the dressing room that we could accept errors in movement, but I didn’t want to see passivity. We have to defend pushing forward and not running backwards, so the lads got the message.”
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