Juventus beat Parma 3-1 to gain ground on second-placed AC Milan who had lost earlier in the day, with just one point now separating the pair though Atalanta can leapfrog both sides with a win over AS Roma tomorrow.
Speaking after the game, coach Andrea Pirlo was disappointed by his side falling behind again to a preventable goal from a direct free-kick.
“We made life difficult for ourselves with the opening goal, then ran a few other risks on set plays, and it’s a pity because we’d done well defending from dead ball situations this season.
“We did well to turn it around and the win was important for our confidence, as we played well and needed to take home the three points.
“We have instinctive players, but must also give them directions on the positions to hold. They did it better in the second half than the first, especially with the body positioning to receive the ball. We were too distant in the first half and that slowed down the passing movement.
“Maybe we don’t maintain the same concentration and pace from match to match. Sometimes we are a little slow, we hold onto the ball, allow the opposition to occupy the space and it all grinds to a halt.”
Cristiano Ronaldo was widely panned for his role in the wall in the Champions League game against Porto which allowed the visitors to nab the crucial away goal, and was again at fault today for the opener when he didn’t jump.
“Unfortunately, these things happen, but we’ll evaluate it over the next few days.”
All the talk from the last few days has been about the Super League, with the breakaway consortium now appearing dead and buried. Club President Andrea Agnelli stepped down from his leadership role at the European Clubs Association to become vice-chairman in the failed initiative.
“Agnelli explained what was happening, but that the most important thing was to secure a place in the top four to qualify for the Champions League. He reassured and encouraged us ahead of this game.”
Pirlo was asked his opinion on the fairness of the Super League, with only five of twenty spots open to teams who show merit in their domestic leagues.
“I already spoke about it yesterday, so did the President and the director. We all know the same things. Something has to be changed on the European level, because the ideas that were proposed were good ones, but we are also open to other suggestions and will respect the rules.”