Juventus’ march up the Serie A table hit a rude bump on Sunday after being overwhelmed 3-2 by an energetic Sampdoria side roared on by the home crowd. The Bianconeri were down 3-0 at one point before two very late goals gave the scoreline some respectability.
After the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri did not mince his words, with a game against Barcelona looming in the Champions League.
“All I can say is that it was a good first half and we made some mistakes in our finishing and choices in the final third.
“The first Sampdoria shot turned into a goal thanks to a scuffed clearance. We needed patience after going 1-0 down and not to lose our sharpness, as there were 40 minutes to go, plenty of time to turn it around.
“From a possible equaliser, we went to 2-0, that is football for you. That can happen too, but we cannot leave ourselves open to the counter and lose our cool like that. It’s disappointing.”
Juve missed plenty of chances in a scoreless first half, failing to take advantage of their possession numbers.
“This was one of our best first half performances of the season, but we didn’t score a goal to show for it. Even when going behind, we had the chances and should’ve been less hasty.
“We’ve got to sort ourselves out, as we are conceding too many goals at the moment, especially away from home. Our only away clean sheet was against Milan.
“This was an unexpected slap that really made us lose our cool. We should’ve been patient, even if things weren’t going our way. It’s a long game, you have to stay calm.”
Paulo Dybala was rested after hitting a recent slump, though he did get a late goal after coming on as a substitute.
“He has to improve along with everyone. When you lose, the best thing is to stay quiet.”
Allegri was much tougher on Sami Khedira, who had a poor game in the middle.
“If Khedira hadn’t stood there with his hand up appealing for offside, we wouldn’t have conceded the third goal. It was a bit like against Atalanta, as when we slow down the tempo, we run hugs risks. We’ve got to patch things up.”
After the game, veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini questioned the motivation of his teammates -
“With all due respect to the other teams, if a team like Juventus really wants to get three points, it’ll get the three points.
“We all have to want it from the first to the 90th minute, those on the field and on the bench.”
He went on to add that the poor attitude was hurting Juve’s prospects this season -
“On paper, our squad has vastly more quality, strength and depth than most of the other teams.
“It’s in theory difficult for us to drop many points this season and yet we are dropping them left, right and centre.”