Napoli recorded a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Juve in Coppa Italia on Wednesday, following a goalless draw at the Rome decision-maker.
Maurizio Sarri now claims that Cristiano Ronaldo and his other Juventus stars are lacking in sharpness. The manager of Bianconeri thinks that his side only needs to find its way after the coronavirus pandemic, despite their final defeat to Napoli.
Juve has been held goalless in two games since he returned to action following the coronavirus-enforced break.
Sarri lamented the defeat of his side and believes they lack some “brilliance,” with Juve failing to score for the first time since October 2015 in back-to-back games.
“There is a disappointment for the boys, for the club, for the fans, but this is a particular moment, both for the physical condition and for some important absence,” he said.
“We made different choices than usual, pressing less high to have a better grip at a distance and we played the game with good levels of application.
“Right now, however, we lack brilliance to make the amount of game produced dangerous and without that brilliance, it becomes more difficult to beat the man, which our players are usually used to doing easily, and finding other solutions.
“Two 0-0s are an unprecedented fact and I think it is characteristic of this period.”
Paulo Dybala and Danilo missed penalties for Juventus. After not playing competitive matches for more than three months, Sarri said Ronaldo and his other attackers lack the fitness level required.
“He’s in the same shape as the others, like Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa, he is lacking the sharpness to do what works best for him,” he told RAI. “I didn’t say much to the players after the game. I was angry and disappointed just like them, so at these moments it’s best to stay silent. We’ll talk better tomorrow morning.”
Regardless, Juventus are a clear point atop Serie A ahead of Monday’s resumption of their league campaign against Bologna.
In the meantime, Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso felt Napoli’s hard work was rewarded by a “God of Football” because he claimed his first big piece of silverware as a manager.
The Italian coach is now eager to see Napoli kick on in Series A season closing weeks, sitting sixth, nine points behind Atalanta’s fourth-placed finish.