Maurizio Sarri explained why he introduced Paulo Dybala to break the Bayer Leverkusen deadlock, but reiterated the importance of Juventus “focus.”
The Bianconeri secured a 2-0 victory at the BayArena, allowing him to match the 16-point group record set by Marcello Lippi in 1996-97 and Fabio Capello in 2004-05.
“It’s important to keep a sense of balance. We lost against Lazio, but for long periods it was one of our best games of the season,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.
“It was tough tonight against a side that is doing very well in the Bundesliga this season. We held out and as soon as their tempo dropped, we stepped up to take the points.”
With first place already guaranteed, Juve made several changes, giving rare starts to Merih Demiral, Daniele Rugani, Danilo and Adrien Rabiot.
“All four defenders did well. Demiral is the most aggressive, so he was more visible. Rabiot improved throughout the game and that was pleasing.”
Miralem Pjanic and Juan Cuadrado are both suspended for this weekend’s Serie A encounter with Udinese.
“We hope to get Rodrigo Bentancur back soon, we’ll have a look tomorrow. If he is out too, then someone else will take the role. The issue is not who plays, but keeping this level of focus and balance.”
Juve really lit up once Paulo Dybala came off the bench, as he provided both assists to Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain.
“We waited for Bayer Leverkusen’s tempo and aggression to drop, so when Bernardeschi found enormous spaces in that area, we thought it was the right time to use all three together.
“There are times in Serie A when we showed a markedly different sense of determination than in the Champions League, especially in games that directly followed European fixtures. That is something within our minds that we need to work on.”
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