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Sarri: Juventus lacking sharpness

Manager tries to explain away his latest failure


Make that two finals with Juventus, and two defeats for Maurizio Sarri so far.

The Bianconeri started the Coppa Italia Final the brighter of the two sides, but like in the semi final, failed to score a goal and paid the ultimate price. In fact, Napoli looked the more coherent of the two sides in the second half and had the better chances to grab the win, which they eventually got with an excellent save from Alex Meret and a horrendously lackadaisical attempt ballooned over by Danilo in the penalty shootout.

Speaking after the game, manager Maurizio Sarri attempted to mollify the livid Juventus fanbase.

“There is disappointment for the club, the lads and the fans, but at this moment we cannot do much more, because we are lacking sharpness.

“We were missing a few players and had to make some different choices to usual, because our fitness levels are not optimal. We keep the ball well, but lack the sharpness to turn that into dangerous scoring opportunities.

“We are struggling to get past opposition players when taking men on, we have a team built on individuals who can usually do that very well. I don’t think we’re lacking determination, because we were totally concentrated for 90 minutes and you can’t do that without determination.

“I think the problem is the characteristics, because these are players accustomed to taking men on and at the moment that’s just not coming off.”

Sarri is going to have fix the issues quickly with the Serie A title still up for grabs.

“It’s unusual, pretty much unique for us, but that just shows the lack of sharpness after such a long break.”

There was another no-show from Cristiano Ronaldo who appeared to virtually disappear in the second half and was not even needed to take the final spotkick.

“He’s in the same shape as the others, like Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa, he is lacking the sharpness to do what works best for him.

“I didn’t say much to the players after the game. I was angry and disappointed just like them, so at these moments it’s best to stay silent. We’ll talk better tomorrow morning.”

Juan Cuadrado was the only Juve player to speak to the media, and blamed Napli’s resolute defending for the poor performance.

“We went out there with the desire to win the game, but Napoli defended with 11 men and it was difficult to find spaces.

“We have to look forward now, as we have Serie A and the Champions League. There is bitterness, as we always want to win a trophy, but we must remember that we are a great team and must find the same belief in ourselves that we had before this long break.

“It’s not easy, we can’t look back at what has been, we need to be in the moment. Being in the game, I thought we were playing good football, moving the ball quickly the way that the coach asks for, but we have to get better and our finishing and getting the shot away.”