Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri admitted his side suffered from nerves as they lost 1-0 at Sassuolo, but refused to blame his younger players for the result.
Giorgio Chiellini was sent off after Nicola Sansone had given Sassuolo a first-half lead, and the Serie A champions struggled to find any rhythm as they slipped to a fourth league defeat of the campaign.
Allegri was without Claudio Marchisio (flu) and he rested the experienced Sami Khedira after a 2-0 win over Atalanta in Juventus’ previous outing.
But a young Juve line-up struggled to compete, especially with 10 men.
“We committed five fouls around the area before we conceded the goal. Then we were down to 10 and we were nervous,” Allegri said.
“With many young people in the middle of the field, it can be hard work, but this is not an excuse.
“Everyone is responsible – even me. We must do better. We had a good reaction, and we must be happy with this, but also angry about what was done in the first half.”
Juventus have taken just three wins from their first 10 games in Serie A this season and Allegri said they could not afford to fall further behind in the title race.
“Tonight was worth so much,” he said. “We had to avoid losing more ground.
“We lost to having received a shot on goal from a free-kick, and this says a lot about what we did.”
Juve sit 12th in the table, 11 points behind leaders Roma.