Juventus learned lessons to earn Inter revenge, says Pirlo

Reuters , Wednesday 3 Feb 2021

Pirlo

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo says a Serie A defeat by Inter Milan helped his side address their issues and earn revenge with a 2-1 semi-final first leg victory over their rivals in the Coppa Italia.

The Italian champions were outplayed in a 2-0 loss at San Siro on Jan. 17, but have won five consecutive games since including Tuesday's comeback victory.

Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice following a Lautaro Martinez opener to help Juve put one foot in the final ahead of the second leg in Turin on Feb. 9.

Looking back on the league meeting with Inter, Pirlo told Rai Sport: "We weren’t in that game, but it served as a lesson for us. From there we regrouped, worked on the errors and more victories arrived.

"But tonight was the first round, there’s another game to come and it’s played over 180 minutes. Nothing is done yet.

"The guys were great, they faced Inter with the right attitude from the first minute. We went behind, but we continued to play. There was a great reaction from the team."

Ronaldo appeared unhappy when he was substituted on the 76th minute, but Pirlo explained he wanted to keep his Portuguese talisman fresh for a busy period of fixtures.

"I told him that he had to come off because we have an important game on Saturday (against AS Roma in Serie A), so it’s right to let him catch his breath," Pirlo said.

"He’s playing many games consecutively, so every now and then a little bit of rest does some good."

Inter coach Conte wasn’t happy with the result after Ashley Young conceded a penalty before a defensive mix-up between Samir Handanovic and Alessandro Bastoni helped put two goals on a plate for Ronaldo.

"We committed two naive errors that allowed them to go 2-1 up," Conte said.

"Otherwise it was another great performance, with many chances created. But we need to finish them, because now we’re talking about a negative result.

"The guys gave everything, they had Juve on the ropes, they deserved a lot more."

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