Maurizio Sarri was in no mood for celebration after Juventus picked up three points against Bologna on Saturday, as the Italian boss was left infuriated by his side’s lack of killer instinct in front of goal.
I Bianconeri had a whole host of chances to put the game beyond doubt during the second half against their visitors, but Sarri’s forwards fluffed their lines, and the home side were made to suffer during a gruelling final few minutes.
Bologna hit the crossbar in the final minute of the match, whilst spurning other late opportunities to peg back the Italian champions, and Sarri told DAZN that he was furious at his side’s risky mindset to ‘sit on a lead’, as quoted by Football Italia.
“We watched it again afterwards and Bologna players were offside, so it wouldn’t have counted anyway.
“I told the lads we mustn’t try to control a game, sit on a lead or be comfortable, because otherwise we leave ourselves in these risky situations to the very end.”
Sarri’s attacking brand of football is in stark contrast to that of his Juve predecessor Massimiliano Allegri, whose side often won games by a single goal thanks to an admirable defensive stability. However, after the Bologna victory, the ex-Chelsea boss encouraged his players to alter their mentality in line with his philosophy.
“There’s a fine line between passing the ball effectively and just keeping ephemeral possession. In the last five minutes, we did it badly, as we lost the ball in banal fashion in our final third. We need to work on the details.
“It was a good game, but blighted by three or four horrible errors that we have to work on. I need to ensure the players realise we keep the ball for a reason, so possession is never kept just for the sake of it. We go into maintenance mode and that is never good.”
Midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who scored the winner, echoed his manager’s sentiments – also quoted by Football Italia – by admitting Juventus must take care of business earlier, even though they are playing well.
“We knew full well it was going to be difficult, as we saw Bologna’s games. They are organised and caused us problems, but I still think we deserved the victory. We are playing very well with this new 4-3-1-2 formation, the team is enjoying its football, we just need to kill games off earlier so that we’re not under pressure at the end.
“I’ve been scoring a lot this season and hope to continue like this.”