Maurizio Sarri warned Juventus they cannot afford to throw away points as they did in Saturday’s 2-1 Serie A defeat to Hellas Verona after becoming “accustomed to winning” over the past few years.
Juve appeared set to open up a six-point gap at the top of the table when Cristiano Ronaldo scored for a club-record 10th successive league match in the 65th minute.
But Fabio Borini levelled with a clever finish 14 minutes from time and Giampaolo Pazzini completed the unlikely turnaround late on, converting a penalty after Leonardo Bonucci had deflected Marash Kumbulla’s header onto the crossbar with his arm.
If Inter and Lazio win on Sunday, a solitary point will separate the top three in Serie A, and Sarri had forceful words at full-time.
“This team has been accustomed to winning comfortably over recent years and we need to get it into our heads that we cannot afford to waste points,” Sarri told DAZN.
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“Hopefully we’ll learn the lesson, because we have been talking about it for quite a while. It’s difficult, because the team trains well but then can’t rise to its full potential during matches. We have to find a resolution to this.
“The mind is most important. If that’s not engaged then you aren’t going to be on the mark tactically. Similarly, if your mind is also not 100 per cent engaged, then the physical stuff won’t follow either.
“We need to realise that winning cannot to be taken for granted. We must work harder, get dirty when we need to and not relax.
“Verona deserve immense credit for the first 30 minutes, but we deserve the blame for the final half-hour. They showed great intensity – we didn’t, it’s that simple.”
The defeat was Juve’s second in three games and third in their previous five away league matches.
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