Speaking immediately after Juventus lost 1-0 to Lyon on Wednesday evening, Maurizio Sarri laid bare his frustrations with the squad, not holding back in his damning assessment of their performance in the first leg of their last-16 clash.
“The second half was better, but frankly it’s not enough for a Champions League match,” the Coach told reporters. “I don’t know why, I cannot get the players to understand the importance of moving the ball quickly. This is fundamental, we’ll keep working on it and sooner or later this concept will get into their heads.
“I continued to tell them, and there were many who were doing it, moving the ball too slowly and therefore getting into the wrong positions. We had training yesterday and the ball was moving twice as quickly as it did tonight. This is the opposite of what should happen. Lately we’re doing a lot of things opposite to how they’re done in training.”
Match of the Weekend – Juventus vs Inter Milan
Sarri and Juventus will get a perfect opportunity to correct those issues this weekend, the fixture list pitting them in a crucial Scudetto clash with Inter in Turin. Antonio Conte’s men will arrive at the Allianz Stadium three points behind the Bianconeri and desperate to close that gap, while the Old Lady will hope for a repeat of October’s win over the same opponent.
“We have a lot of work to do but I’m confident,” Aaron Ramsey told Sky Italia when asked about Juve’s poor recent form. “We have to focus on ourselves and do better than we did today,” the Wales international added. “We have to turn the page, think about the league and the match against Inter.”
Best of the Rest
Just before that potential title decider, Roma’s trip to Cagliari is a match that neutral viewers should certainly try to catch. The Giallorossi head into this weekend sitting fifth in the table with three points separating them from a top four position and the Champions League berth they so desperately covet.
Yet in recent weeks, Paulo Fonseca has looked on in horror as his side completely lost form, suffering four defeats in their last six Serie A outings. A stubborn Cagliari outfit await them this weekend, the Rossoblu capable of frustrating even the very best teams and fully aware that they held Roma to a 1-1 draw already this season.
Serie A Player To Watch: Jeremie Boga – Sassuolo – £1.74
With Sassuolo missing a game last week after the Coronavirus outbreak, they will return to action this weekend against relegation threatened Brescia. When they do so, there is little doubt that Jeremie Boga is the man to watch, the midfielder emerging as a key figure as the campaign has progressed.
The 23-year-old is a graduate of the Chelsea academy and, although he never made a first team appearance for the West London club, he has improved dramatically from the player who spent loan spells at Rennes, Granada and Birmingham City before finally cutting ties with Stamford Bridge in 2018.
Last term saw him manage just 14 league starts, but Boga has become a regular for the Neroverdi this term, weighing in with seven goals and two assists as he finally looks to prove his quality.