Juventus finally put together a complete performance and swept aside league leaders AC Milan 3-1 at the San Siro yesterday. With Inter Milan also losing, the top of the table is getting congested now but coach Andrea Pirlo is not concerned with how the other teams are doing.
“It was important for us, we weren’t interested in the results of the teams above us, as we were concentrated on our own progress. We’ll see in a few months where we are.
“The important thing was this spirit of a team that wants to be in control, especially against the Serie A leaders on their own turf.”
Federico Chiesa had his best game since joining the Bianconeri, and with Pirlo placing him in direct opposition against Theo Hernandez, allowed him to flourish as the attacking fullback was largely subdued and left chasing shadows all evening.
“The idea was to keep him under pressure and not allow him to keep pushing forward as freely as he usually does, especially when he had to deal with a player who was also good in one-on-one situations.
“We signed him so he could take men on in the final third, his position might change, but his role does not.”
The referee Massimiliano Irrati was erratic at best last night, letting obvious fouls slide including the one on Adrien Rabiot by Hakan Calhanoglu that allowed Davide Calabria to grab Milan’s lone goal of the game.
“It was a foul and the referee should’ve blown the whistle. After that decision was made, Danilo should’ve been more aggressive, but also the whole team wasn’t set out well. In any case, it all started from a foul.”
Danilo was later booked despite clearly getting the ball first, but then Irrati failed to send off Rodrigo Bentancur when he really should have had been booked a second time and in time added on, Rabiot was lucky not to concede a penalty.
“Rabiot was coming off two games in the stands, so he was fresh and eager to get going. He is a box-to-box midfielder and I think he doesn’t even realise the potential he has.
“Bentancur was tired and seeing as he was at risk of the second yellow card, we moved quickly to substitute him.”
Paulo Dybala laid on the opening goal for Chiesa with a sumptuous back-heeled pass that left the Milan backline exposed. Was Pirlo pushing for Dybala to be given a new deal?
“Everyone is first choice and not first choice. I am fortunate enough to be able to choose game by game based on our situation and the characteristics of our opponents.
“We just needed Dybala to get back his fitness levels, because he still not at 100 per cent now. He still has a few physical issues and hasn’t been at his best all season.
“No, that’s not my role, I don’t get involved in contracts.”