Sarri accepts Juventus must improve defending set-pieces

By Sports Desk September 18, 2019

Maurizio Sarri accepted Juventus must work on defending set-pieces after surrendering a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 away to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

Sarri's first European game in charge of the Serie A champions seemed set to end in three Group D points after Juan Cuadrado's stunner was followed by Blaise Matuidi's header.

Atletico, though, earned a measure of revenge for their Champions League exit at the hands of Juve last term by fighting back in the last 20 minutes on Wednesday at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Stefan Savic nodded home after a free-kick to reduce the deficit and Hector Herrera brilliantly steered in a headed equaliser from Kieran Trippier's corner in the 90th minute.

Cristiano Ronaldo, whose hat-trick knocked Atleti out last term, almost won it for Juve at the death when he fired just wide, but Sarri was in no doubt where his focus must be on the training ground.

"I think we played well but we have a bitter taste in our mouth now because we felt we had the game in our hands," Sarri said.

"We need more attention and focus on set-pieces. We will work on that.

"I opted to start with Cuadrado because I thought it could have been an open game with spaces for him to use his pace.

"I think we are working well and I could finally see the things we are trying in training."

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci agreed with Sarri's assessment.

"We played a great game but we must be more careful to defend against set-pieces," he said.

"It's a pity because it cost us two points. At this level, our attention must be high for 90 minutes."

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