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Ronaldo’s absence exposed imperfect Juve, says ex-chief Moggi

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The Bianconeri lost important points without their star player leading the charge, leaving Moggi convinced they have a problem.

Luciano Moggi reckons Juventus haven’t discovered their ‘tactical identity’ under Andrea Pirlo and also believes failing to beat the lowly Benevento without Cristiano Ronaldo proves ‘there is a problem’.

Pirlo gave Ronaldo a rest for Saturday’s trip to Benevento in the Serie A ahead of a congested winter schedule.

And with bigger fish to fry coming up, namely Dynamo Kyiv and Barcelona in the Champions League, the Juventus boss’ decision was perhaps understandable. But it backfired when Benevento snatched an unlikely point.

Now the title holders could drop out of the top-four in the Serie A standings and lose more ground to leaders AC Milan by the end of the weekend.

“For the moment, this is an imperfect Juve,” former chief executive officer Moggi told Calciomercato.

“Ronaldo would be fundamental for any team, but if in his absence you don’t beat against either Crotone or Benevento, it means that there is a problem.”

The 83-year-old Italian also weighed in on who should start in attack between Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata.

“They’re two different strikers, but equally useful to the team with the characteristics they have,” Moggi said.

“There is no rivalry between them, but both will be important throughout the season, even if Pirlo’s team have yet to find a tactical identity. Juventus’ problem is to get back on track as a great team that goes to attack their opponents in the last 16 meters.

“When playing with quality, and when they are attacking and asserting their superiority, Dybala becomes essential. This is because he knows how to beat a man, sees gaps, and creates space for his teammates.

“Otherwise, Morata would be better because his movement from 40 meters out can lead him to get clear in front of the opposing goalkeeper, a situation in which he has a cool head to score.”