Juventus beat Inter on penalties on Wednesday, with Matthijs De Ligt scoring an own goal and Cristiano Ronaldo finding the net on a free kick with the help of a deflection. Gianluigi Buffon then denied three opponents in the shout-out. Here is how Maurizio Sarri commented: “De Ligt was part of the portion of the game where we played worst and he has no responsibility in that, while Cristiano Ronaldo had the usual high-quality performance. I sense that we can improve a lot in the offensive plays, especially velocity-wise, which would enhance him even further.”
On the progress compared to the Tottenham outing: “All things considered, we had a similar display, since we had a subpar rhythm in the first half, where we struggled to defend with a high center of gravity and we tracked back. We did very well in the first half an hour of the second half, with more courage and better pressure, so we managed to take control of the game. We have to improve on that, we have to get closer to who is starting the action on the opposite team, recuperate balls deep in their territory. We have to get used to defending what is front of us, not behind. I am asking to change the way they think, which is not easy to do in a short span. We have to take these matches with a grain of salt because the physical condition is sub-optimal, the heat was monstrous and the pitch was not great either. It was all more difficult. I made a mistake in having a training session this morning, we paid for that.”
On Gianluigi Buffon: “He saved three and a half out of six penalties, this is the strength of this wonderful player and person. He is fighter and he was ready when needed. However, the choice was clear from the beginning: I talked to him during the summer and Wojciech Szczesny is our starter, then of course I will take him into consideration, he will play some games. I was straightforward with him and he was splendid in accepting because he would have earned way more in other clubs, but he wanted to come back to Juventus at all costs.”
On his half-time speech: “I told them that I can accept every technical mistake and the ones concerning the movements, but I do not want to see them passive, we have to defend high on the pitch. They got that and complied.”
On Adrien Rabiot: “He played as pivot for a stretch and he did pretty well there. He surprised me there because he looked very comfortable. I think he had a good showing considering that he has played very little in 2019, so he has huge room for improvement.”
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