The Italian coach admits his match-winner shouldn’t have gone for goal from such an acute angle, but was ultimately happy he did
Maurizio Sarri has revealed his skeptical reaction to Paulo Dybala’s memorable free-kick for Juventus in the Champions League.
Dybala scored from a stunning set-piece against Atletico Madrid as Juve secured top spot in Group D with Tuesday’s 1-0 victory in Turin.
From an acute angle on the right side of the penalty box, Dybala somehow beat Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak in first-half stoppage time.
Speaking to reporters post-game, Juve head coach Sarri admitted his gut reaction involved some swearing.
“Dybala scored a goal that nobody could have advised him to do,” Sarri said.
“The first thing that a coach says in that situation is: ‘What the f*ck are you shooting from over there?’ And therefore what he did was extraordinary.
“The applause was owed to him, for the performance but also for the technical skill which was extraordinary.”
While Dybala was the hero again for Juve, it was another frustrating night for superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Having missed last week’s victory away to Atalanta due to his troublesome knee, Ronaldo returned to the line-up but he appeared to struggle against Atletico.
Asked if Ronaldo is cut off from the game due to the team’s style of play, Sarri stressed there was no issue.
“No, there was no problem with Ronaldo,” he said. “The problem was the way we were occupying spaces.
“In the first half Paulo was often playing far away from the goal, Cristiano was not playing in the centre and therefore we were never occupying the central spaces. We could have done this more with one of the two alternatively, when Paulo was going for the ball Cristiano could have played more in the centre and when Cristiano was out Dybala could have gone less for the ball.
What the **** are you shooting from there for? Sarri on Dybala’s winner for Juventus
“Otherwise we could have exploited that space with [Aaron] Ramsey, therefore we had some problem occupying spaces, rather than because we were cutting off players from the game.”
Despite the less than convincing win, Juve have now sealed top spot in Group D with four wins and one draw to date.
Sarri’s side next face Sassuolo in Serie A on Sunday with Juventus currently leading the league by one point and Antonio Conte’s Inter in hot pursuit.