Sarri: ‘Juventus missed Higuain’

by | Oct 30, 2019 23:04

Maurizio Sarri maintains Juventus missed Gonzalo Higuain more than Miralem Pjanic in their hard-fought 2-1 win over Genoa. “Higuain is the only real centre-forward.”

The Bianconeri were held 1-1 by Lecce at the weekend and almost repeated the result here against 10-man Genoa, until a stoppage-time Cristiano Ronaldo penalty saved their blushes.

Maurizio Sarri maintains Juventus missed Gonzalo Higuain more than Miralem Pjanic in their hard-fought 2-1 win over Genoa. “Higuain is the only real centre-forward.”

The Bianconeri were held 1-1 by Lecce at the weekend and almost repeated the result here against 10-man Genoa, until a stoppage-time Cristiano Ronaldo penalty saved their blushes.

“Our first half was at a slow tempo and we seemed a little uncertain, allowing Genoa to close up the spaces too easily,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“Genoa pass the ball very well and they do not play like a team near the foot of the table. We ran into difficulties, as we raised the tempo after the break, but made too many mistakes.

“The victory only arrived at the end, but I feel it came as a consequence of all the work we’d done and the chances we’d produced before.

“At the moment, we are not converting enough of our scoring opportunities and we are conceding some really avoidable goals.”

Rodrigo Bentancur took the midfield reins, as Miralem Pjanic and Gonzalo Higuain were out injured.

“Genoa had their trequartista pressing Bentancur, so it was difficult to play out from the back. We did well at times, but others we were too slow,” explained Sarri.

“Higuain is the only striker available who has the characteristics of a real centre-forward, the others are more atypical. Despite dominating possession, we always risk not having enough presence in the box without Gonzalo.”

With Aaron Ramsey not fully fit, Federico Bernardeschi has been struggling to play as a trequartista, but Sarri won’t return to 4-3-3 even with Douglas Costa’s return.

“In terms of characteristics, I think this team is suited to playing with a man behind the strikers, rather than three upfront. This is a system that rather penalised Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Douglas Costa has played as a trequartista too, especially at Shakhtar Donetsk. He’s only been back for two days, so we didn’t have time to test him in that role.

“This is a squad that won eight consecutive Serie A titles, so I think they might be lacking a bit of determination, both going forward and defending.”

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