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Pirlo: Juventus played the match we needed to

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Coach’s comments after disappointing late defeat puts Champions League berth under peril

Atalanta BC v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Juventus dropped more points, this time a late deflected goal conceded resulting in a loss to Atalanta which sees La Dea jump into third spot and Juve at the risk of falling completely out of the Champions League spots should Napoli overcome Inter Milan in the late game of the day.

Speaking after the game, Andrea Pirlo chose to remain positive with his side playing well enough against the hosts but the slim pickings he had off the bench versus the hosts’ options making all the difference.

“It was a good game against a strong team. We played the match we needed to, then they were lucky with the late goal, but we played with great determination and aggression. It’s disappointing, we could’ve brought home at least a point.”

Paulo Dybala got his first start with Cristiano Ronaldo out injured but was unable to make a difference to the game.

“He hadn’t started in a long time, so facing a physical side like Atalanta meant he couldn’t possibly do 90 minutes. He did well as long as his physique held up.

“Federico Chiesa and Danilo had a few problems during the week too. Some were struggling a bit, but Ronaldo was not in condition to play.”

The Bianconeri will face Atalanta one more time this season, with the Coppa Italia at stake when the two sides meet in the final on May 19th.

“We have not faced all our games with the same attitude and determination. It’s a completely different team when we have those elements, but despite me pointing it out, we have dropped too many points by not having the right attitude in the smaller fixtures.

“We knew Atalanta would make it a duel all over the field, so that’s how we prepared it. We kept good possession, covered the spaces, Atalanta can force you to play differently to other situations, but we did well.”

Juventus are yet to win a league game when Ronaldo is not playing, with three draws and now a defeat the result in those four games.

“It’s no coincidence Ronaldo scored 25 goals this season and he was excellent in the first leg with Atalanta too. He suits these games well and is our main finisher. When missing the killer instinct in the box, it’s slightly different.

“We still created our chances today, though, so I don’t think it made that much difference.”

Fans are necessarily worried that Juve could completely miss out on the Champions League which would be an unmitigated disaster.

“We have to focus only on ourselves. If we play with this spirit and desire to bring home the result, I am convinced there will be no problem achieving our objective.”