Andrea Pirlo admits the plans Juventus had didn’t quite come off and looked to the lack of experience. ‘We need work until we can play Barcelona on level terms.’
The Bianconeri have now won only two games on the pitch this season, drawing three Serie A matches in a row and beaten 2-0 at home by Barcelona in the Champions League this evening.
Alvaro Morata was unfortunate to see three goals ruled offside, but Juve threatened precious little else, while Wojciech Szczesny performed heroics and Barca seemed intent on walking it into the net.
“We knew it’d be tough against a side that plays good football, that is accustomed to playing at this level, whereas we are a work in progress.
“Ultimately, it’s a match that will be useful for us to grow and improve in future,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“I hope to have more players back soon, because I don’t have many options and those I start end up having to play almost 90 minutes twice a week. That’s not easy for them, especially when they are young and inexperienced.
“It’s frustrating when you are down to 10 men, as you can’t go to press them, otherwise it just ends up running on empty. That’s what the lads didn’t realise when we went down to 10.”
Even before the Merih Demiral dismissal in the closing minutes, Juve barely ever threatened the Blaugrana.
“The plan had been to spread out the Barcelona defence a bit more, but we tended to be a bit too close together and playing all on the same lines.”
Sky Sport Italia pundit Fabio Capello pointed out Federico Chiesa was generally ignored, as the ball kept going through Paulo Dybala, who was doubled up on the marking.
“It’s true. We had tried to keep Chiesa wide, then pushed Rabiot into a more advanced area, with Cuadrado pushing up in the second half. The idea had been to pull Sergi Roberto out of position, as he struggles if he is out of position, but we were never really able to do that. The players ultimately make the decisions on the pitch.
“We need to be quicker in the way we move the ball to create one-on-one situations, but we didn’t manage it tonight.”
Does the Juventus midfield lack quality, especially compared to the team that they had with Pirlo as a player?
“Football clubs have eras, we had huge players with a lot of international experience. Now they are largely younger, so it’ll take a while to get them up to that level.
“They tried to create something there, but we need to work and improve until we can play Barcelona on level terms.”