All of the top sides in Italy recorded wins as there were no changes to the Scudetto race this weekend. Juventus beat Genoa 3-1 to remain in third place after another strong showing, but all the chatter after the game was about star Cristiano Ronaldo taking off his shirt and apparently throwing it away following the final whistle.
Apparently he had promised his jersey to a ballboy, but coach Andrea Pirlo had a different perspective.
“It’s normal he wanted to score a goal, especially when the game was getting complicated, as he is a champion and always wants to make his mark.”
Would Ronaldo get fined for the way he reacted?
“I don’t think so. He was upset as it happens to other players too. The game was over and it’s normal he was nervous. I don’t think the club or the coach will fine him.”
Juve cruised to a 2-0 lead at the break, but once again were beset by hiccups in the second half, and not for the first time this season either.
“We had the right attitude at the start, it all seemed easy, then we allowed a chance at the end of the first half due to a lack of concentration.
“It’s happened before that we concede goals either side of the half and it almost happened again. We came out wanting to take the initiative, but we went too deep, ran a few risks and didn’t take the chances that would’ve allowed us to be a bit more relaxed.”
Juve’s intensity was visible today as they continued playing like they did against Napoli midweek.
“Genoa put a lot of players between the lines, so we considered a change of tactics during the game. Unfortunately, we dropped points in games that on paper seemed easier, which made life complicated unnecessarily. That wasn’t the case today, as we were controlling the match, but there were a few distractions that made us run some risks.”
As a rookie coach, Pirlo continues to get asked whether he has what it takes to manage Juventus, and how he would rate his first season in charge.
“All coaches must feel like they have to prove themselves every single day, let alone me, as I am in my first coaching experience. Football has been my dream since I was a child and I will keep working hard to improve.
“I’d give myself a six out of 10 for this season so far. I know that I must do more, and when you don’t achieve certain results, the coach is the first to take responsibility.
“My idea of football is to dominate the game and press the opposition. For a series of reasons, we’ve been unable to fully implement it, but the team is eager and we’ll keep working on it.”
Word from Fabio Paratici is that a Paulo Dybala contract extension is still up for discussion.
“These things are down to the club. I am able to train a squad of champions, Dybala is one of them. He has barely been available this season, but he’s back now and we’ll try to make the most of it. Other decisions are down to the club.”