Despite scoring early away at a dominant Napoli and looking comfortable for most of the game, Juventus somehow left the Stadio Maradona with no points after more boneheaded errors allowed the hosts to grab two second half goals to win 2-1.
A befuddling trend that seemed to have started last season with multiple cases of defensive complacency has leaked into the new season despite the coaching change, and it appears that veteran centrebacks Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are powerless to stop the bleeding either.
Speaking after the game though, coach Massimiliano Allegri remained as protective of his side as ever,
“I cannot reproach my players for anything this evening. We put in a worse performance against Empoli, but today unfortunately we paid the price for errors.
“We weren’t as precise technically and lost the ball a few too many times in the second half. Napoli played very well, but in football when you don’t win, you can only shut up and work hard.”
The coach chose to look at the thin silver lining from today’s performance and is looking ahead to Tuesday’s Champions League group stage opener against Swedish side Malmo.
“Hopefully we can start the Champions League in a better way than the Serie A season. At this moment, we pay a heavy price for every single error, but these moments can happen in football. We should’ve been sharper, gone for the second goal when 1-0 up.
“We conceded the equaliser and then this [winning] goal on a corner. There are many positives from the lads too. If you make mistakes like that, then naturally you’re going to concede on the counter.
“I saw giant steps forward, the lads did everything they had to this evening, but there are moments during the season when the ball goes in and others when it doesn’t.”
The Bianconeri have just one point from three games this season, mirroring their start from the 2015-16 campaign when they also had the same points total and only had three wins in the first ten games before righting the ship in Allegri’s second season in charge to win the Scudetto by nine points ahead of Napoli.
“It’s a long season, we need to chase the other teams down and there is plenty of time to recover. I’ve had worst moments than this. What matters now is Tuesday, putting in a good performance against Malmo, then we’ve got Milan on Sunday.
“It’s disappointing, as we had started strong tonight, but of the five goals we’ve conceded this season, quite a few of them were our own fault.”
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been utterly miserable so far for both club and country, and Allegri was asked what he needed to do to fix both him and the rest of the squad.
“Szczesny is the first-choice goalkeeper at Juventus. He had some good games before this, the ball got away from him on the equaliser.
“I didn’t have many options off the bench to change things. It was honestly a surprise to have Ramsey available, as he only had one training session. Pellegrini hadn’t played basically in six months and had cramp.”