Juventus let AS Roma do all the running — more shots, corners, possession and passing, as Paulo Fonseca put it — but got the goals at the opportune moments as they beat the side from the capital 2-0 to leapfrog them in the table.
Speaking after the game though, coach Andrea Pirlo indicated that he had the Romans exactly where he wanted them.
“We had prepared this type of match. We knew Roma play very good football, so we were prepared to sit back, defend and then go on the counter.
“Our preventative marking was good, this was the approach we wanted, because it wasn’t easy to go forward and be aggressive with Roma.
“Instead, we waited for them at times and attacked them at others. We basically did a reverse of the way Roma played against us earlier this season, because you need that in your locker and can’t always be aggressive with a high press.”
This win marked Juve’s third straight clean sheet, what’s changed from earlier on in the season when defensively his side were letting in too many goals, and it’s no coincidence it started since the return of Giorgio Chiellini.
“We have found the enthusiasm, are more solid and our defensive approach is more determined now, because we learned from mistakes made in the past.
“Giorgio Chiellini is in good shape and we hope he can continue like this. The group has always been humble, known when it’s the time to run without the ball and when everyone needs to help out. Even the biggest champions do that and it’s a crucial element.”
More than halfway into his debut season, what would Pirlo say he has picked up so far?
“I’ve learned that not every game is the same, especially in a very tactical league like in Italy, so you need to have different variations and alternatives, because otherwise the opponents can read you too easily.”