Sarri: Juventus criticism was excessive

By Sports Desk June 22, 2020

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri said criticism of the Serie A champions was "excessive" after his team resumed their league campaign in winning fashion.

Juve marked their return to Serie A action following the coronavirus-enforced break with a 2-0 victory over Bologna at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on Monday.

The spotlight had been on Juve after their penalty shoot-out defeat to Napoli in the Coppa Italia final last week – pressure building on Sarri and the Italian giants.

But first-half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala ensured Juve bounced back to move four points clear of second-placed Lazio, who have a game in hand against Atalanta on Wednesday.

"In football and in life there are opinions and there are facts," Sarri told Sky Sport Italia following Juve's first top-flight fixture since March 8.

"If you listened to the opinions, you'd think this team was falling to pieces. If you look at the facts, we're top of the table.

"The criticism was excessive and that can act as motivation for us to get back in shape mentally even more than physically, which might take a little longer."

"Having top level individual players means they can resolve the game for you at times," said Sarri, who had substitute full-back Danilo sent off in stoppage time.

"But we need to put the whole team in a situation where they can give their best, but also that we can continue working when the star names are either absent or off form.

"It's inevitable they will have some days when they're not as sharp, we need other options."

Sarri added: "We were sharper physically tonight, as we kept up the tempo and intensity for 70 minutes, whereas in the Coppa we fell away after 20-30 minutes."

Juve welcome lowly Lecce to Turin on Friday.

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