Maurizio Sarri is reluctant to commit to the idea of starting with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala in the same Juventus line-up as he fears upsetting the balance of the team.
Juve were in cruise control in Tuesday’s Champions League Group D encounter against Bayer Leverkusen as Higuain and Ronaldo goals sandwiched Federico Bernardeschi’s effort in a 3-0 win at Allianz Stadium.
The goalscoring trio lined up alongside one another in Juve’s attacking triumvirate, while Dybala replaced Higuain in the 83rd minute and teed up Ronaldo for his goal.
However, while the idea of Ronaldo, Higuain and Dybala in a front three is an exciting one, head coach Sarri is erring on the side of caution.
“If I am sitting in a bar, it seems like a good idea to me too. If I am on the bench, then I have to take the balance of the side into consideration,” he told Sky Sport Italia in quotes translated by Football Italia.
“If the team in future finds a great deal of balance, then we can try it, but right now that seems premature.”
Five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo:
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 1, 2019
Bernardeschi staked his own claim for regular starts with an impressive performance against Leverkusen and his efforts in training have caught Sarri’s eye.
“I liked the way Bernardeschi trained over the last few days, Aaron Ramsey needed a rest, and we knew his pace would be of use,” he added.
“It was difficult, as Bayer love possession and they are not easy to face, so they took a lot of energy out of us in the first half. After the break, they slowed down a little and we took control.”
Opposing boss Peter Bosz conceded Juve were good value for the win, but felt the game swung on a poor headed clearance by Jonathan Tah from which Higuain brilliantly controlled and rifled home the opener.
“We had a clear defeat. We did well in the first half but we were not able to create chances and made the mistake that led us to the goal,” he said.
“It is the difference between those who have experience in the Champions League and those who are building [in] it.
“This is the demonstration of challenging a team like Juventus.”
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