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Sarri remains humble despite 100th Serie A victory milestone

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Manager leads Juve back to the top of the table after 2-1 win at Samp

UC Sampdoria v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

Juventus held off Sampdoria to win 2-1 away in Genoa and return to the top of the Scudetto with Inter Milan playing tomorrow. First half goals from Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo settled the result for Juve and after the game manager Maurizio Sarri was happy with the performance in the first stanza.

“Dybala’s goal was wonderful, so was Ronaldo’s, as he seemed to hang in the air for an infinite amount of time.

“We did well, it was a particularly good first half, while we were a bit too chaotic in the second. Even then, we didn’t run many risks and it’s a pity we didn’t lock it down earlier, because anything can happen during the late scrambles in the box. The team seemed in good shape.

“We were too stretched out after the break, allowing extra spaces to Sampdoria.”

Once again Sarri started the trident of Ronaldo, Dybala with Gonzalo Higuain, is this something to be expected going forward?

“There will be games where not all three play. They have been playing a lot lately and can get tired, while we have Aaron Ramsey and Douglas Costa recovering from injuries and they need time on the pitch too.

“Higuain did well in the first half, but lost intensity after the break. This is a period where he is playing constantly, so that’s understandable.

“The primary aspect when deciding whether to use the trident is their fitness levels during the week. They can only play together if they are all in good shape, because otherwise the rest of the team would suffer.

“When they are in the kind of form we’re seeing now, we then look at the characteristics of the opponent and decide if it’s right to use them or not.”

Adrien Rabiot looked much more involved in the play today, is he finally settling in?

“His qualities are emerging. He was out injured for quite a while, but has improved as these three games have gone on, which means he has not yet expressed himself fully.

“I think his potential is superior to what he’s shown so far in his career.”

The fiery Merih Demiral also got the start for another game over Matthijs de Ligt.

“He has this great positive energy that he transmits to his teammates and we need to use that at the moment. If you see someone in training who is bursting with energy, you put him on the pitch. Once you realise he is carrying on that attitude during a match situation, you keep him there.

“Demiral is brimming with confidence right now, so it seems only right that he plays.”

Sarri hit the 100th Serie A victory milestone in just 169 games, becoming the fastest coach to get to the mark this century, but remained humble about the achievement.

“A coach is indelibly tied to the teams he trains. In recent years, I was fortunate enough to lead squads who had very high win percentages, Napoli and Juventus. If I’d stayed at Empoli, it would’ve taken many more years.”