Juventus put in a poor performance but were able to get a point in their home game against Sassuolo thanks to Paulo Dybala providing a second half spark, but in the process ceded top spot to Inter Milan.
After the game manager Maurizio Sarri was distinctly unimpressed by his side’s efforts, despite the Bianconeri turning it up a few notches in the last half hour or so.
“I spoke to the team for 30 seconds after the game. It wasn’t a negative performance, but we opened up far too many spaces, lost the ball cheaply and didn’t use our brains. It went better in the second half, but in the first we got the feeling there wasn’t enough focus.
“We made some really daft errors, conceding a goal because we were too sluggish tracking back. The build-up play was slow too, the midfield movements were off. I think it was because we were coming off two very stressful games and it wasn’t easy to recharge the batteries.
“The team lacked a bit of brain and soul. The reaction came at the end and we could even have won it.”
Sarri continues to get asked about playing Paulo Dybala with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain, with the trio getting a few minutes together again.
“We created chances with those three, but once Sassuolo managed to pass the ball, you could tell we were struggling. The only solution was to bring back a little solidity with Ramsey.”
Sassuolo had snatched a surprise lead early in the second half following a giveaway from Juan Cuadrado, with Matthijs de Ligt making a hash of his clearance and then Gianluigi Buffon somehow letting the ball roll through him.
“It was an incredible series of mistakes, from a bad back-pass to another that hit a Sassuolo player. When you aren’t fully focused, a howler can happen.”
An injury crisis for the visitors meant 18-year-old Stefano Turati had to play in goal and the youngster was outstanding on his Serie A debut, foiling the hosts time and again.
“I honestly don’t have the words! So many emotions, it all happened so quickly and I never expected this. It was an extraordinary sensation and an incredible day for me.
“It was an honour to play against Gigi Buffon, as I used to watch him when I was growing up. I am so happy and shocked that I don’t even know what to say. The first thing I have to do now is call my Mum.”