Pirlo: ‘Juve could not have played worse’

Andrea Pirlo admits Juventus suffered ‘a bad defeat, we could not have played worse than this and it was unexpected’ against Inter.

The Bianconeri barely tested Samir Handanovic and were fortunate there weren’t more goals after the Arturo Vidal header and Nicolò Barella running onto a long Alessandro Bastoni pass.

Lautaro Martinez had several opportunities to extend the lead, but was wasteful in front of goal, whereas Federico Chiesa only really forced a save in the final minutes.

“We got the attitude wrong from the start and when you don’t have the determination to win the duels, it becomes difficult,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.

“We just didn’t step onto the pitch, we were timorous, afraid of Inter’s attacking play, so in our minds we only focused on defending and weren’t even very aggressive with that either. We allowed Inter to take the initiative and they become devastating in those circumstances.

“Individual quality can only shine if you first match the opposition in terms of aggression and determination. We didn’t do that and it showed.

“It’s a bad defeat, we could not have played worse than this and it was unexpected, but we have to lift our heads and prepare for Wednesday and the Supercoppa against Napoli.”

Juve now have 33 points, seven adrift of Inter, but with a game in hand to be played against Napoli.

Pirlo was asked if this defeat changes Juventus ambitions and reduces their role in the Scudetto race.

“Our ambitions remain the same. It’s a slip-up against a strong opponent, these things happen, but what I am disappointed by is the attitude. A side like Juventus must come here with a certain confidence and ambition, the desire to take the initiative and steer the game in a certain direction, but we were too timid.

“We were too slow in our passing and above all did it with our defenders rather than the midfielders. We wanted to create the situation where Chiesa could take men on or Ramsey could go between the lines. That didn’t happen, because we moved it too slowly and too deep, so we never really pulled Inter players out of position. We were too predictable.

“The coach is always the first to take the blame, as if the team didn’t do what we planned, it means we didn’t understand the plan.

“We were disorganised on the opening goal, didn’t follow their through runs and were caught out. It all became more difficult from there.”

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Inter-Juve player ratings: Barella MOTM, irritated Ronaldo

Nicolò Barella was the MOTM of Inter-Juventus, while is direct opponent Adrien Rabiot was the worst player on the pitch at the Giuseppe Meazza. Inter-Juventus ratings:

Inter:

Handanovic 6.5 – Showed cat-like reflexes to deny Federico Chiesa at the end of the second half. Aside from that, Juve never created any real danger for him.

Skriniar 7 – Solid rock, controlled Cristiano Ronaldo easily.

De Vrij 7 – Commanded the defence and passed the ball out from the back well.

Bastoni 7.5 – A brilliant assist for Nicolò Barella and some key interceptions.

Hakimi 7 – Not as devastating as he usually is, but still difficult to stop.

Barella 8.5 – Sometimes it seemed there were two No. 23 on the pitch. He initiated every counterattack, he assisted Arturo Vidal and closed the game with his goal. Absolutely brilliant. MOTM

Brozovic 7 – Always in the right place at the right time.

Vidal 7.5 – Seemed to kiss the Juventus crest before the kick-off, he made up for it scoring the opener after 10 minutes. For one hour he looked like his old self. (Gagliardini 77 N/A)

Young 6.5 – Good game, in constant motion up and down the left flank.  (Darmian 72 N/A)

Lukaku 6.5 – He used his usual physical strength to keep Juventus defenders away from him. Didn’ have many goal scoring opportunities.

Lautaro 6 – Wasted a big chance in the first half, could have been Inter’s second (Alexis Sanchez 85 N/A).

Coach: Conte 7 – Proved Pirlo has still plenty to learn.

Juventus

Szczesny 6.5 – Nothing he can do to avoid Inter’s goals, made a couple of good saves.

Danilo 5 – Vidal anticipated him to put Inter ahead, too often susceptible to quick one-twos.

Bonucci 5 – Booked in the first half, struggled to control Inter’s strikers.

Chiellini 5.5 – Amazing duels with Lukaku, the Inter striker often had the better.

Frabotta 4.5 – Left too much space behind him when Barella scored the second (Bernardeschi 5.5 – Soft approach, too soft.)

Chiesa 5 – Never dribbled past his direct opponent.

Bentancur  4.5 – Way to slow, both with and without the ball.

Rabiot 4 – Barella was everywhere and he just couldn’t cope with it (McKennie 58 5.5 – Had a good chance from a left corner kick).

Ramsey 5 – Little quality, he never created troubles (Kulusevski 58 6 – Completed a few dribbling, at least he tried to create something.)

Morata 4.5 – Way too irritated, failed to make any impact.

Cristiano Ronaldo 4.5 – Just as irritated as Morata. His long-range shot after Vidal’s goal and his body language summed it all up.

Coach: Pirlo 4.5 – Juventus made their first shot on target after 82 minutes. Lack of quality in the middle of the pitch remains a big issue for the Old Lady.

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Vidal: ‘Inter can win the Scudetto’

Arturo Vidal maintains the 2-0 win over Juventus showed ‘Inter can win the Scudetto, as we beat the strongest team over the last nine years.’

The Nerazzurri were dominant in the Derby d’Italia, and Nicolò Barella easily Man of the Match, as he whipped in the cross for Vidal’s header, then scored the second himself by capturing a fantastic long Alessandro Bastoni ball.

“It’s important for me, for the team, it was a very difficult game against the best team in Italy,” Vidal told Sky Sport Italia after scoring against his former club.

“I am glad to have scored my first goal for Inter, very happy. I think we proved today that we are up to the task of challenging for the Scudetto.

“This gives us the confidence to keep pushing, to believe we can win the Scudetto, as we beat the strongest team over the last nine years. We believe that we can go all the way.”

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Inter 2-0 Juventus: Conte takes Derby d’Italia

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Inter Hakimi payment mystery explained

La Repubblica claim Inter have agreed with Real Madrid to delay the first payment for Achraf Hakimi by three months.

The Nerazzurri signed the wing-back for €40m to be paid in a series of €10m instalments.

The first was expected in December, but reports in Spain pointed out the money had not been handed over on time.

However, La Repubblica newspaper published a copy of an agreement Real Madrid signed with Inter a few weeks ago, which allows them to delay the €10m payment from December 2020 to the end of March 2021.

Inter are having serious financial problems at the moment following the effects of the pandemic and Chinese blocks on their companies investing in foreign football clubs.

They are also negotiating with players to delay the payment of their salaries in order to find liquidity.

Suning are currently in talks with investment fund BC Partners to sell up to 40 per cent of the club’s shares.

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