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Pirlo: Juventus paying for not closing out games

Coach’s comments after dropped points against Atalanta

Juventus v Atalanta BC - Serie A Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Juventus had the lead but frittered away chances to allow Atalanta to pull back in the second half before the game ended 1-1. The draw is the Bianconeri’s sixth of the season in just twelve games, the first time they have done so since the 1984-85 season.

Speaking after the game, coach Andrea Pirlo was frustrated by his side’s inability to kill the game off.

“We played an excellent match against a strong team, with great pace.

“However, we would have won if we had shown more conviction. We created a lot, but we have not been able to close it out and when we leave the game in the balance, anything can happen - but we took the field with the right attitude.

“It was an important game in terms of intensity. Atalanta is difficult to face and we did it well.”

Among the missed chances were Alvaro Morata showboating with the goal at his mercy, scuffing his backheel.

“It made me very angry, it’s something we can not afford, these opportunities can channel the game in a certain way.

“One must have the lucidity to make the right choice and he didn’t. Aside from that he made a great game, it happens not to score goals sometimes.”

Another opportunity flushed away was Cristiano Ronaldo seeing his penalty saved, the fourth he has failed to score in 38 attempts for Juve.

“It’s a pity because it would have helped us to go ahead, but these things can happen.”

The defence continues to be a weak point for this team, with just one clean sheet in their last nine games.

“On Sunday we conceded a goal from the only shot we had against. It’s not about goals, it’s about how we face the games.

“We had many chances to take the lead, we are improving, this game was important in terms of intensity.”

Paulo Dybala was introduced with just ten minutes left to play but couldn’t score. What did Pirlo think about all the chatter surrounding the contract extension for the player?

“The club is in charge of these matters. I train all the players and I only think to train him on the pitch.”

Pirlo also explained why Dejan Kulusevski was an unused substitute this game.

“He is a young player, he’s played a lot so far. He’s made big steps but he is more suitable for some games and less suitable for others. This wasn’t a game for him, there were aggressive defenders and we needed to play vertically.”