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Sarri: Juventus red card changed everything against Lazio

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Manager’s comments after first loss of the season for his side

Juventus’ Italian coach Maurizio Sarri looks on during the... Photo by Carlo Hermann/KONTROLAB/LightRocket via Getty Images

Juventus lost their first game of the season in any competition, going down 3-1 at Lazio in a contentious game with an inconsistent referee and VAR also playing a part in the final result.

Speaking after the game, manager Maurizio Sarri wasn’t necessarily despondent about the result.

“I thought we had a good first half, doing very, very well, but unfortunately allowed that goal right on the stroke of half-time.

“We didn’t respect our duties, because Dybala and Bernardeschi were in the wrong position, it was a distraction and you pay for that. We had decided before the game on certain positions and we didn’t cover them.”

The game was tied at 1-1 in the second half when Juan Cuadrado was initially booked for bringing down Manuel Lazzari, but changed his mind after an on-field VAR review and sent off the fullback.

“I do not entirely agree that it was a clear scoring opportunity, as the ball was going wide. I thought a yellow card was the right ruling, as the red was a little harsh, but the fact remains that is out of our control and we made a mistake to create the situation in the first place.”

Rodrigo Bentancur was having an excellent game, and even laid on the assist for Ronaldo’s goal, but then left the game before half-time with a knee injury.

“Bentancur will have the tests tomorrow, the collateral ligament seems to be involved to some degree, we’ll see how much. Bentancur is a decisive player for us at the moment, so we missed him a great deal once he came off.

“Sami Khedira will be out for three months, so we’ll have to work something out over the next few weeks and see if we can resolve other situations quickly.

Federico Bernardeschi and Aaron Ramsey could probably be used in that role, so we’ll see about some tests there.”

Despite the mounting injury crisis for the Bianconeri and today’s loss, Sarri remained calm and collected.

“I didn’t see many mistakes in the first half, we passed it around well and had the chance to make it 2-0 with Cristiano’s header. We were perhaps a little slow to react on the corner, which sparked their goal.

“The second half was dominated by incidents, most of which went against us, but when it was eleven against eleven, we did very well. In the second half, when the game seemed to be in a more balanced state, the red card changed everything. We lost the match, but to be honest, I saw improvements in my team.”