Tuesday July 7 2020
Sarri: 'Juve in control, then blackout'

Maurizio Sarri insists Juventus should not even try to analyse their ‘blackout’ against Milan, because they were ‘world class and in total control for 60 minutes.’

The Bianconeri could’ve gone 10 points clear after Lazio lost 2-1 to Lecce earlier this evening, but instead the gap remains at seven because they fumbled a 2-0 lead for the 4-2 defeat at San Siro.

“I think our first 60 minutes were world class. We were in total control and had this blackout. There’s not even much use thinking too much about it, because we have another game in three days,” Sarri told DAZN.

“We had a total blackout for 15 minutes. It has happened to other teams in this period. We have to take the positives from the game, which are that we were in total control for an hour.

“It’s usually not even possible to find the reasons for these inexplicable blackouts.”

However, it’s not the first time Juve have struggled with mental strength once they concede a goal.

“We had some bad performances and quite rightly lost them, but this is not the case now. We played well this evening. I’ve seen many other teams have similar blackouts lately, because it’s an unusual situation to be playing and training in these temperatures, with so many games close together.

“Sitting here trying to over-analyse it or put ourselves on trial could be counter-productive and make us lose all the good work we’ve done so far.

“It’s completely different to the defeats against Verona and Napoli, so we have to focus on the next match. This is a team that has excellent football in its capabilities and that is what we need to build on.”

Matthijs de Ligt and Paulo Dybala were suspended, so Daniele Rugani had a rare start in defence, but Sarri didn’t see a weakness in the back four.

“The defence was fine up until the 62nd minute, as we didn’t allow Milan a single chance before then. The blackout hit everyone. You can change all 11 players at that moment and it won’t make a difference.

“Higuain did what he had to do at this moment, he started well, then slowly faded out of the game, as was to be expected with his fitness levels.”

Did knowing Lazio had lost to Lecce before they took to the pitch affect Juve’s mentality and make them complacent?

“I don’t think it made a difference, otherwise the initial approach would’ve been poor. Instead, we were focused for most of the match. I don’t even think we relaxed after going 2-0 up, it was the penalty that sparked the blackout.

Rabiot scored an extraordinary solo effort this evening, his first goal in the Juventus jersey, confirming his improvement in recent weeks.

“Rabiot is settling into the squad, into Italian football, into his first experience abroad. His progress was slowed by a few injury problems, but he is now getting there.”

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