Juventus huffed and puffed to a point away at Sassuolo in a dramatic 3-3 draw, with both sides ruing missed chances that could have gotten them a much-needed three points. The struggles of the leaders Juve, as well as dropped points by Lazio and Inter Milan have allowed Atalanta to go into second place seven points behind. Inter play their 33rd fixture tomorrow at SPAL with a chance to go second six points adrift of Juve. Either way, the Bianconeri’s path to the title is clear - ten points from their last five games and no one catches them.
Speaking after the game manager Maurizio Sarri spoke to the media.
“A coach expects consistency from his team, it’s something we’ve been lacking both physically and mentally. We have some very strong moments in a match and some moments of passivity that are difficult to understand.”
Juve lost at AC Milan also after going up by two goals, and then clawed back to a 2-2 draw against Atalanta over the weekend.
“We’ve been up against teams in remarkable form recently and Sassuolo are no different, as they’d won four in a row and if they consolidate, they can become the Atalanta of the future.
“I do believe that if we resolve the issue of consistency throughout the game, we are on the right track. Any team becomes dangerous if you let them pass it around in our final third.”
As far as why the team struggled to contain an irrepressible neroverdi who attacked freely down the wings with Juve’s fullbacks enduring a torrid afternoon, Sarri said -
“We struggled because they played between the lines with the trequartista and we gave the ball away too many times. It was strange, as our full-backs in the first half were conservative, but then started to push forward and win the ball back early towards the end of the game.
“It’s not so much something that doesn’t work as it works in fits and starts. At times, I get the feeling this team has enormous potential. At other times, it leaves you perplexed, as it allows the opponents to enter the box far too easily. We need to find the right balance and that is not easy.
“We had to keep the ball more, as there are times when the passing move will help you to control the tempo and stay in the opposition half. We sometimes feel too rushed in trying to get to the goal in a couple of passes, which creates a situation where you go from end to end.”
Captain Giorgio Chiellini got the nod to start, but appeared clearly not ready for the rigors of summer football, giving way to Daniele Rugani at the break.
“Giorgio seemed to be in good shape over the last three or four days, he felt his calf muscle hardening before half-time and asked to come off. We were without Leonardo Bonucci, so it was important to have a player with experience and character.”