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Old habits die hard for Juventus

Reuters/Milan
Filed on January 13, 2020
Old habits die hard for Juventus
Juventus' Cristiano celebrates with Pjanic (right) after scoring a penalty during the Serie A match against Roma.- AFP

Sarri, whose side raced to a 2-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes, was happy with their performance for the first hour of the 2-1 win which put them back on top of Serie A.

Maurizio Sarri, brought in as Juventus coach to impose his distinctive style of football, was left frustrated when they reverted to the more cautious approach of predecessor Massimiliano Allegri during their match at AS Roma.

Sarri, whose side raced to a 2-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes, was happy with their performance for the first hour of the 2-1 win which put them back on top of Serie A as the season reached the halfway mark.

However, the team spent much of the final 30 minutes keeping possession in their own half and avoiding risks - something Allegri would habitually describe as "administering the match" and which became a hallmark of his five years in charge.

"I didn't like the way we sat back on the result," said Sarri, who took over this season. "We had several three-on-one counterattacks and we could have done more. I'd like to see us play the whole 90 minutes like we played the first 60. "If we are going to just pass the ball around, then at least we should do it in the opposition's half of the field."

Juventus have traditionally been a team who win without worrying about how they do it. Allegri seemed to fit the bill perfectly and his teams were pragmatic, versatile and resilient and intent on getting the job done quickly.

But, after a relentless five years of Allegri, Juventus decided they needed more flamboyance and turned to Sarri who likes his teams to weave intricate, passing patterns at high speed through opposing defences. Juventus have an impressive 48 points from 19 games - and a two-point lead over Inter Milan but their style of play has suggested they have changed Sarri rather than vice-versa.


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