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A ‘bitter’ Sarri accepts Juventus must work on set-pieces

Maurizio Sarri, Juventus
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Maurizio Sarri conceded that Juventus have homework to do after squandering a two-goal lead through set-pieces to finish 2-2 with Atletico Madrid.

Juan Cuadrado and Blaise Matuidi’s second-half goals seemed to put Sarri on course for a dream Champions League debut for Juventus. However, Atletico refused to throw in the towel by launching a spectacular comeback in the final 20 minutes.

Stefan Savic got the first goal for Diego Simeone’s side by heading in from close-range. Hector Herrera then scored for the first time since his free transfer from FC Porto by heading home fellow newbie Kieran Trippier’s corner in the dying stages.

It earned Atletico a 2-2 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano and a share of the points in Group D.

For Sarri, though, the outcome was a bitter blow considering the healthy advantage Juventus had built.

“I think we played well but we have a bitter taste in our mouth now because we felt we had the game in our hands,” the Bianconeri boss told reporters in his post-match conference.

“We need more attention and focus on set-pieces. We will work on that.

“I opted to start with Cuadrado because I thought it could have been an open game with spaces for him to use his pace.

“I think we are working well and I could finally see the things we are trying in training.”

Goalscorers Cuadrado and Matuidi, meanwhile, were also left disappointed by Juventus’ result in Madrid.

“I’m happy for the goal but sad for the result,” said Cuadrado.

“We have to prove that we are a great team, that always uses their brain. At the end of the game, I was angry because to draw after winning 2-0… I am sorry.”

Matuidi added: “The team played a good match, and in the end tonight wasn’t a bad result.

“Obviously, we need to improve, working more on concentration, because it’s the details that make the difference.”

Juventus will next meet Bayer Leverkusen on October 1 for their second Champions League match in Turin.

Atletico boss Simeone also gave his views on the match, where he expressed his relief over Ronaldo’s late miss. 

Juan Cuadrado, Juventus
MADRID, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 18: Juan Cuadrado of Juventus celebrates his goal.