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Pirlo takes responsibility for Juventus debacle against Milan

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Juve’s Champions League dreams hang by a thread after embarrassing defeat to ordinary Milan side

Juventus v AC Milan - Italian Serie A Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images

Juventus were humiliated 3-0 at home by AC Milan who leapfrogged them in the Champions League race, with the Bianconeri now slipping to fifth place with this defeat.

Speaking after the game, Andrea Pirlo reiterated that his side were prepared correctly for this game.

“I said yesterday that the team looked good during the week, we trained with the right mentality and concentration. The team was alive and convinced it could put in a great performance.

“Instead that was not the case. We had actually started fairly well, but we lost our way and this was the final result. It’s difficult to explain now. There were many components that didn’t work. When you lose such an important game 3-0 it means many things didn’t work, but I need to evaluate it and then talk it over with the lads with a calm head.”

Was Pirlo ready to admit that he had failed and step aside, or would he need to be fired to leave?

“No, I won’t step aside. I took this role with a great deal of enthusiasm amid certain difficulties. I am at the disposal of the club, there are still three games to go, so I will continue doing my work as long as I am allowed to.”

Conceding thrice to Milan now means Juve have lost the tiebreaker to the Rossoneri after their 3-1 win at San Siro.

“I had a different project in my mind and thought I would have a different group at my disposal. I had been working on some concepts, but then I had to make changes in order to suit their characteristics and had to adapt.”

Pirlo’s complaints about the squad are not dissimilar to what Maurizio Sarri was saying last season - is it the players then who are not absorbing the coach’s message?

“It’s not that this team is resistant to change, but if you have some things in your mind and they become more difficult with certain players. If I cannot get the best out of these players, that is my fault and I certainly need to do better.

“If something didn’t go right, I take responsibility. This squad is made up of great players, clearly something did not work.”

Pirlo was also asked about the lack of spine in this Juve squad, with bad getting worse pretty rapidly especially this season.

“We have talked it over a lot, because this sort of thing happened many times this season. I asked the lads to pull something out of their guts, to honour the shirt and show pride, because we are part of a glorious club and these performances cannot happen.”

Has the fiasco surrounding Juventus’ participation in the Super League affected his squad?

“The club gave me great freedom to do my work and we were never affected by things happening off the field. If we didn’t do well on the pitch, that was purely our fault and mine, as I am at the head of this team.

“We trained well, but at times some players don’t achieve 100 per cent in their performance. When you have two or three players who struggle in this type of match, that brings down the whole performance of the team.

“The lads have always followed me, during good and bad moments, so I have nothing to reproach them for in that sense.”