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Pirlo takes responsibility, says Juventus could not have played worse

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Coach’s comments after disappointing Derby D’Italia loss

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

Juventus embarrassed themselves in their return to San Siro, playing almost a polar opposite game to their win against AC Milan in the Derby D’Italia clash against Inter Milan. The Nerazzuri’s comfortable 2-0 win marks the first time turncoat former Juve player and manager Antonio Conte recorded a win over the Bianconeri since joining bitter rivals Inter.

Speaking after the game, coach Andrea Pirlo made no excuses about how poor his team was.

“We got the attitude wrong from the start and when you don’t have the determination to win the duels, it becomes difficult.

“We just didn’t step onto the pitch, we were timorous, afraid of Inter’s attacking play, so in our minds we only focused on defending and weren’t even very aggressive with that either. We allowed Inter to take the initiative and they become devastating in those circumstances.

“Individual quality can only shine if you first match the opposition in terms of aggression and determination. We didn’t do that and it showed.

“It’s a bad defeat, we could not have played worse than this and it was unexpected, but we have to lift our heads and prepare for Wednesday and the Supercoppa against Napoli.”

Juve remain in fifth place, but are now seven points behind league leaders Milan who have played the same number of games, with Inter, Napoli and AS Roma also ahead of them. Are Juventus out of the Scudetto race already?

“Our ambitions remain the same. It’s a slip-up against a strong opponent, these things happen, but what I am disappointed by is the attitude. A side like Juventus must come here with a certain confidence and ambition, the desire to take the initiative and steer the game in a certain direction, but we were too timid.

“We were too slow in our passing and above all did it with our defenders rather than the midfielders. We wanted to create the situation where Federico Chiesa could take men on or Aaron Ramsey could go between the lines. That didn’t happen, because we moved it too slowly and too deep, so we never really pulled Inter players out of position. We were too predictable.

“The coach is always the first to take the blame, as the team didn’t do what we planned, it means we didn’t understand the plan.

“We were disorganised on the opening goal, didn’t follow their through runs and were caught out. It all became more difficult from there.”

FC Internazionale v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Claudio Villa - Inter/Inter via Getty Images

In his own comments, Conte was asked if the nine-year era of winning the Scudetto that started during his time in charge at Juve was now over.

“Eras end if you do not renovate and innovate, but Juve have done very well over the years to maintain a skeleton of the side like Chiellini, Bonucci and Buffon, who give you experience and a sense of belonging.

“Juventus did a great job by adding Morata, Kulusevski, McKennie and Chiesa this season alone, not to mention Arthur. That means there is a vision, there are people who know what they are doing and see what needs to be done early,” continued the coach.

“It’s incredible that Juve have dominated for nine years and want to dominate for a 10th. I do think the gap remains, but the other clubs are working more than ever to get closer. I have the utmost respect for Juventus, as they fully deserved all these victories.

“This is a start for us, but beating Juventus with such great champions, including Cristiano Ronaldo, should give you the belief that you are on the right track. I had never beaten Juventus in my coaching career. I always got hammered, and deservedly, so this is progress.”