Juventus dropped a 2-1 decision away in Rome to Lazio led by former boss Maurizio Sarri, to lose some steam that they had built up in recent weeks. Goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Mattia Zaccagni on either side of Adrien Rabiot’s equalizer settled the tie for the hosts despite an improved showing in the second half.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri did not make the trip to the capital after coming down with the flu, but assistant Marco Landucci spoke to the media after the game, starting off with the controversial opening goal where Milinkovic-Savic looked to have pushed Alex Sandro off before receiving the ball and slotting home.
“The referee decides. Juve fans would say it was a foul, Lazio fans would say it wasn’t, but the only opinion that matters is that of the referee.
“All I can say is that our first half was below par, whereas we did much better after the break, deserved to score again and the draw would’ve been the fair result.
“As usual, we accept the result on the field. Our defenders were in the right positions, if the referee blows his whistle then it ends there, but he didn’t. We don’t stir up controversy over these things.”
A switch to a back-four saw a better second half showing from Juve after the mostly one-way traffic in the first stanza.
“Chiesa and Paredes did well off the bench, we had a good second half, but were only missing the goal – and that’s not just a detail.
“We have never had Chiesa and Pogba in the squad, really. Chiesa was out basically for a year, he is starting to get back to full fitness and that is one of the positives tonight, as with him we can adopt a few different systems.
“Today we moved to four at the back in the second half and did well, it’s a pity we conceded that goal, but we did create numerous chances to equalise.”
Striker Dusan Vlahovic continues to struggle and looked to have picked up an ankle issue today as well.
“Strikers need goals and it’s also fair to say we didn’t give him enough supply today. We were all a bit soft in the first half and needed to win more tackles. As the boss says, you need to win those tackles.
“I spoke to him [Allegri] after the game, he said we had a good second half and the first should’ve been better, but I knew that already.”
Angel Di Maria had another uninspiring performance, though was marginally better in the second half.
“I think everyone did better after that change. Everyone knows Angel’s quality, he suffered in the first half, but caused Lazio problems in the second.”
Juve lost the opportunity to not only catch up to the top four, but also to gain ground on Lazio should the 15-point deduction get overturned.
“We must always be optimistic, we wait for the sentence, we know that we picked up 59 points on the pitch, we’ve officially got 44 now. We’ll wait and see.”