Giorgio Chiellini admits Juventus were “outplayed in every area” against Inter, but the veteran defender insists the reigning Serie A champions have not lost their spark under Andrea Pirlo.
A change in the dugout was made at the Allianz Stadium heading into the 2020-21 campaign. Maurizio Sarri was ushered through the exits despite delivering another title in Turin, with a club legend turned to for inspiration despite lacking top-level coaching experience.
Pirlo is finding the going tough in his rookie season with Juve slipping seven points off the pace in the Italian top-flight. A 2-0 reversal against old adversaries Inter has left them fifth in the table, with Chiellini conceding that there is much for a once dominant force to work on.
The 36-year-old centre-half told Sky Sport Italia: “There are times when you have to be humble and allow the opponents to have the ball, but our problem was that when we were on the ball, we made a lot of mistakes and were constantly giving it away or not finding a way through.
“We were outplayed in every area of the field, we kept taking too many touches, were moving the ball too slowly, we made too many mistakes.”
Chiellini added: “You can make all the preparations and tests you want, but it’s about putting that into action. We didn’t win a single duel on the field, Inter wanted it more and deserved the victory.
“It’s a blow, but it mustn’t be a knockout blow, because we have the time to make up for it and a long way to go this season, starting on Wednesday against Napoli in the Supercoppa. Fortunately, we are playing again in three days, so we can put this behind us and focus on winning the first trophy of the campaign.”
Chiellini remains confident that Juve can rediscover their spark and is and is adamant that they have not regressed since parting company with Sarri.
“We had a few sparks this season, for instance in Barcelona,” Chiellini said. “We had four wins in very tough games, but it becomes difficult to analyse a performance like this evening when there was such a big gap between the teams.
“It’s tough to talk about tactics and systems when you are so inferior on the night. The years go by, we are trying in every way to keep this era going and a 10th consecutive Scudetto would be truly incredible.
“It’s not easy, we are trying our best, but we had two blackouts and paid for them with heavy defeats to Fiorentina and Inter.”