The defeat at the San Siro is now four losses in their last seven games in all competitions, and what looked like a strong close to a miserable season is faltering rapidly. Juve only have one chance now to win any silverware this season with a berth in the Europa League semi-finals already booked, with a big opportunity to get another trophy wasted.
Speaking after the debacle in the fourth and final episode — and Juve’s first defeat — in this season’s Derby D’Italia, coach Massimiliano Allegri lamented his side’s slow start.
“The feeling in the first half, especially the first 15 minutes, was that we were asleep. It was better from then on, but we didn’t have enough shots on goal and Inter are a very physical team.
“We need to recharge the batteries, as we’ve lost four of the last five Serie A games, are out of the Coppa Italia and from tomorrow need to roll our sleeves up. We are in the Europa League semi-final and need to defend our position in Serie A, to keep AC Milan and AS Roma behind us.
“I changed at half-time because Inter sat a lot deeper and it was only natural we’d have more of a presence in the penalty area. Arkadiusz Milik needed time to recover, so with Dusan Vlahovic out, I was convinced Federico Chiesa would do well. He certainly put the effort in, but we lacked patience.”
Club captain Leonardo Bonucci got a rare start with Danilo given a break.
“I think Danilo played more than anyone and was also one yellow card away from suspension. Bonucci did well, but we certainly should’ve done better in attack and we were unable to overturn the game. Winning in Milan was not easy and we tried to the end.”
Without that focal point upfront the Bianconeri looked aimless and indeed didn’t even look like they were interested in an equalizer, much less winning.
“We need to improve the level of concentration and determination if we want to win matches. It’s disappointing, because for 60 minutes we played well against a strong Inter side. They proved that by reaching the Champions League semi-final.
“It’s disappointing not to be in the Coppa Italia Final, but we need to have broad shoulders and deal with everything that comes at us this season. Some of it is our own fault, as we conceded a dumb goal against Napoli on Sunday and you all saw the first leg with Inter.
“We must learn to be strong mentally and patient, because the wheel turns.”