Pirlo: ‘Juve poor game management’

Andrea Pirlo concedes Juventus ‘made life difficult for ourselves’ in the 3-2 Coppa Italia win over Genoa, which went to extra time.

The Bianconeri were in total control and leading 2-0, but Genoa fought back to 2-2, so Hamza Rafia got the winner on his debut.

“We made life complicated for ourselves, as we had played the first half really well, then got distracted and it became tougher,” Pirlo told RAI Sport.

“It’s a pity, as we had done what we needed to and should’ve controlled the situation better. The Coppa Italia is a target, so it was important to win and go through to the next round.”

Dejan Kulusevski lit up the first half, scoring a goal and assisting for Alvaro Morata, but fell away badly after the break.

“He is still very young and only really had one Serie A season, so it’s a big step up to Juventus. He has some peaks and troughs, so needs to be more consistent during the 90 minutes, more determined in front of goal and realise every single ball at Juventus is precious.”

There were several young players in the line-up this evening, including defender Radu Dragusin in the starting XI.

“Dragusin made his debut in the Champions League, then 20 minutes against Genoa in Serie A, he is very interesting and showed his quality.”

Inter also went to extra time in their Coppa Italia tie with Fiorentina, winning 2-1 at the 118th minute.

“Pretty much all the games went to extra time, which shows how tough they all were. We are in the same boat and will have a few days to recover and prepare.”

Pirlo was asked why Juve tend to struggle more against the less prestigious sides compared to the big games.

“I don’t think we did struggle, as we were in control for most of it. There were a lot of young players who were in their first real experience at this level, so some mistakes can happen.

“We lacked concentration at times, especially when in a leading situation, so we need to improve the game management aspect.”

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