Sunday January 17 2021
Pirlo: 'Juve could not have played worse'

Andrea Pirlo admits Juventus suffered ‘a bad defeat, we could not have played worse than this and it was unexpected’ against Inter.

The Bianconeri barely tested Samir Handanovic and were fortunate there weren’t more goals after the Arturo Vidal header and Nicolò Barella running onto a long Alessandro Bastoni pass.

Lautaro Martinez had several opportunities to extend the lead, but was wasteful in front of goal, whereas Federico Chiesa only really forced a save in the final minutes.

“We got the attitude wrong from the start and when you don’t have the determination to win the duels, it becomes difficult,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.

“We just didn’t step onto the pitch, we were timorous, afraid of Inter’s attacking play, so in our minds we only focused on defending and weren’t even very aggressive with that either. We allowed Inter to take the initiative and they become devastating in those circumstances.

“Individual quality can only shine if you first match the opposition in terms of aggression and determination. We didn’t do that and it showed.

“It’s a bad defeat, we could not have played worse than this and it was unexpected, but we have to lift our heads and prepare for Wednesday and the Supercoppa against Napoli.”

Juve now have 33 points, seven adrift of Inter, but with a game in hand to be played against Napoli.

Pirlo was asked if this defeat changes Juventus ambitions and reduces their role in the Scudetto race.

“Our ambitions remain the same. It’s a slip-up against a strong opponent, these things happen, but what I am disappointed by is the attitude. A side like Juventus must come here with a certain confidence and ambition, the desire to take the initiative and steer the game in a certain direction, but we were too timid.

“We were too slow in our passing and above all did it with our defenders rather than the midfielders. We wanted to create the situation where Chiesa could take men on or Ramsey could go between the lines. That didn’t happen, because we moved it too slowly and too deep, so we never really pulled Inter players out of position. We were too predictable.

“The coach is always the first to take the blame, as if the team didn’t do what we planned, it means we didn’t understand the plan.

“We were disorganised on the opening goal, didn’t follow their through runs and were caught out. It all became more difficult from there.”