Sunday January 19 2020
Sarri: 'Juve mustn't defend deep'

Maurizio Sarri was not happy at Parma keeping Juventus under pressure. “I prefer to concede on the counter than spend 10-15 minutes in our own half.”

The Bianconeri are now four points clear at the top of the table – although Lazio have a game in hand – after Inter were held by back-to-back draws by Atalanta and Lecce.

Ronaldo scored either side of an Andreas Cornelius header, taking his tally to 11 goals in his last seven Serie A games.

“There were some hiccups along the way, but in general we were doing well this season. We had the chances to close the game today and didn’t take them, so naturally Parma started to cause us problems towards the end because it was still open,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

Aaron Ramsey started in the trequartista role, while Gonzalo Higuain came off the bench to briefly use the all-star trident, until Paulo Dybala made way for Douglas Costa.

“I saw players who were tired after the Coppa on Wednesday and had to change things. I wanted to send a signal to my team and balance things out again with Douglas Costa, because it was still open.

“Adrien Rabiot and Ramsey arrived from very different leagues, had a lot of fitness problems in these first few months and haven’t been training as much as they wanted to, but both lads are improving as the season goes on.

“We can improve in the way we read the game, especially in the final stages, as I do not like us passing it around in our own half. As I tell my players, I’d prefer to concede on the counter rather than sit there under pressure for 10-15 minutes. If we have the chance to close the game, we have to take it.”

Andreas Cornelius scored a temporary equaliser with his header from a corner.

“We had improved on defending from set plays, but tonight we conceded against one of the specialists in this scenario. It’s about staying alert and making the interception before the ball gets there.”

Ronaldo has scored 11 goals in the last seven Serie A games, so Sarri was asked about being a coach with someone so decisive in the squad.

“You have a world class player who might cause you a few problems every now and then, but can also resolve 100 of them. So you have to take him into account and work around his characteristics.”

Juventus are now on 51 points, followed by Inter on 47 and Lazio 45, but the Biancocelesti have a game in hand and are currently on a run of 11 consecutive Serie A victories.

Sarri was asked who he saw as more dangerous out of Inter and Lazio?

“Lazio are in such spectacular form right now, that we can only hope it doesn’t last!”

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