Andrea Pirlo slams Juventus’ ‘wrong attitude’ after first Serie A defeat of season

Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo criticised his team for having the “wrong attitude” after the Serie A champions crashed to their first defeat of the season in the last game before the Christmas break.

Juve, reduced to 10 men after just 18 minutes following the dismissal of Juan Cuadrado, fell to a 3-0 home loss to Fiorentina. Dusan Vlahovic opened the scoring in the third minute, before an Alex Sandro own goal doubled the visitors’ lead with 14 minutes remaining. Martin Caceres put the gloss on Fiorentina’s win five minutes later.

The defeat came hours after Juventus learned they must play the match against Napoli which was cancelled on October 4 after Napoli decided not to travel to Turin because of coronavirus cases.

On Tuesday, Napoli won their appeal to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) after being handed a 3-0 defeat and a one-point deduction. As a result Juventus, who had started the day with 27 points, finished it with 24.

Juventus are fourth, tied on points with Napoli and Roma, and seven points behind leaders AC Milan, who play Lazio on Wednesday.

“It’s not a problem for us to play the Napoli game, but it seems unfair on the other teams who travelled, and perhaps lost points, with absences due to Covid,” said Pirlo. “I’m more sorry for them than for us.

“What happened in the afternoon, however, must not be an excuse for the defeat. We started with the wrong attitude. When you start like this then you get into trouble, which we did.

“Unfortunately, before Christmas it happens that your head is on holidays, we shouldn’t have allowed this.”

The champions got off to a terrible start in their Allianz Stadium with Franck Ribery setting up Vlahovic for the opener. The Serb shook off Matthijs de Ligt to slot in past an out-rushing Wojciech Szczesny for his third goal in as many games.

Juventus played most of the match a man down after Cuadrado was sent off for a reckless sliding tackle on Gaetano Castrovilli. The referee’s yellow card turned to red after a VAR viewing.

Not even Cristiano Ronaldo could make the difference for the hosts. The Portuguese missed chances in the first half and a header on target after the break was ruled offside.

Juventus also had penalty appeals on Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi tackles rejected.

“Cuadrado’s sending off is clear, there could be other episodes for us but I don’t want to comment, everyone sees them,” Pirlo said.

Fiorentina doubled the lead after 76 minutes with the ball bouncing off Juventus defender Sandro and into the goal. Caceres turned in a Cristiano Biraghi cross from close range five minutes later.

Fiorentina’s second win of the season, and first since October 25, moved the Tuscany side up to 15th position.

“I asked the team for courage and we succeeded,” said coach Cesare Prandelli after his first win since taking over last month.

“We decided this was the time to take a risk. It’s an extraordinary win, now we need to work on our consistency.”

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