Andrea Pirlo admits Juventus had ‘a bad day’ and approached Fiorentina with ‘the wrong attitude,’ but says Napoli’s appeal ruling isn’t ‘fair to the other teams who travelled.’
This 3-0 hammering was their first Serie A defeat of the season, and therefore the first top flight loss as a coach for Pirlo, but it came on a day when nothing went right for the Bianconeri.
Just hours before kick-off, Napoli won their appeal against the decision to abandon the Week 3 fixture due to a COVID travel ban, so the game will be played and the 3-0 result was revoked.
As such, Juve effectively lost three points today and lost another three when beaten in Turin by relegation strugglers Fiorentina.
“That mustn’t be an alibi. We started with the wrong attitude and if you do that, then you end up going into these bad situations,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.
“It can happen in the last game before Christmas to start thinking about the vacation, but we were sluggish and unfocused, so inevitably we then lost.”
Pirlo was asked how Juventus were affected by the ruling that they will have to play Napoli next month, the announcement coming when they were travelling towards the stadium.
“We have no problem playing the game. I am more disappointed for those other teams who travelled and played without far more players who had COVID and they showed great fairness by playing anyway.
“I won’t say if the ruling was correct or not, but it didn’t seem fair to the other teams who played in more difficult situations.”
Pavel Nedved in the stands was visibly furious at two penalty appeals that were rejected on Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi.
“The images seem clear, Cuadrado’s red card was very clear. There could’ve been other incidents in our favour, but I don’t feel the need to comment. After all, everyone can see the footage.
“We can’t really talk about tactics or a technical performance when we are down to 10 men after 10 minutes. We did what we could to stay in the game, and would’ve been if we had that penalty in our favour.
“The coach gives his instructions, the team goes onto the field, it can happen to be not 100 per cent. We gave away a goal and a man in the first half, then came out for the second with the right attitude.”
The gap with Milan and Inter now risks getting significant going into the Christmas break.
“Now we go on vacation for a few days to recharge the batteries, then can restart looking at the errors we made, where we can improve and have a project to carry on.
“We feel that we are a strong team, but if Milan and Inter are up there, it means they’ve done better than us so far. Let’s not deny they are the favourites now,” added Pirlo.
Leonardo Bonucci had a particularly bad game, making an error in two of the three goals.
“These things happen to everyone. Bonucci had a bad day, but he is our captain and we have great faith in him.”
Matthijs de Ligt then went off in the final minutes with an injury.
“It seems to be muscular fatigue, which is normal after so many games in a row, but we’ll see tomorrow what happened.”