Andrea Pirlo criticises ‘egotistical’ Juventus players despite Champions League win over Ferencvaros


Andrea Pirlo said he was not happy with his players’ performance despite their 4-1 win at Ferencvaros in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, labelling his players “egotistical”. 

Alvaro Morata scored twice before two defensive mistakes helped Juventus to victory as they bounced back from last week’s defeat by Barcelona.

The Serie A side were too slick for their spirited opponents, who are back in the group stage after a 25-year absence, and cantered home at a soggy Puskas Arena to go second in Group H with six points from three games. Ferencvaros have one point.

But Pirlo, managing Juve in his first season as a head coach, was unimpressed and said they should have wrapped up the points sooner.

“I talk to my players a lot, but they make the choices when they are on the pitch,” he said. “They could’ve been less egotistical and killed off the game earlier.

‘We are playing with two forwards plus two wide men. Once we get everyone in shape, we can evaluate who to use together. So far, not everyone has been at 100 per cent, so it’s been normal to rotate them and leave one out.”

Juve’s captain Giorgio Chiellini, was more positive, saying: “Games can become easy only if you play well. In the first half we were a bit slow with possession, we raised our tempo in the second half and we managed to earn another important win.”

Juve got the ideal start when defender Leonardo Bonucci threaded a pass down the right touchline to set Juan Cuadrado away and the Colombian’s low cross was tapped in by Morata at the far post after seven minutes.

Despite the early setback, Ferencvaros acquitted themselves well with Tokmac Nguen and Oleksandr Zubkov both having chances but sending shots wide.

Cristiano Ronaldo was always a danger for Juve, however, and nearly added a second after combining with Morata but the ball was taken off his foot by Miha Blazic as he was about to shoot.

The Portuguese forward set up Juve’s second on the hour with a low pass into the area which Morata swept home after a Weston McKennie dummy.

The Italian champions were gifted the third as goalkeeper Denes Dibusz failed to control Blazic’s awkward back pass and substitute Paulo Dybala slipped the ball into the empty net in the 73rd minute.

Eight minutes later, Dibusz’s attempted pass was intercepted by Dybala and Lasha Dvali turned the ball into his own net as he tried to clear.

Franck Boli pulled one back in the 90th minute, scoring at the second attempt after Wojciech Szczesny saved his first effort.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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