Sarri: Juventus missed Pjanic's quality in Genoa win

By Sports Desk October 31, 2019

Maurizio Sarri admitted Juventus missed the quality of Miralem Pjanic in their dramatic victory over Genoa.

Juve were without the injured midfielder and striker Gonzalo Higuain for Wednesday's Serie A clash at Allianz Stadium, which they edged 2-1 through a 96th-minute penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Italian champions were held 1-1 by Lecce last weekend and were heading for another draw after Christian Kouame cancelled out Leonardo Bonucci's opener.

But sluggish Juventus found a last-gasp winner after Ronaldo won and scored a penalty in a game that ended with both sides reduced to 10 men.

Victory lifted Juve a point above Inter at the top of the table and Sarri was pleased that his side found a solution in the absence of some key men.

"We are speaking about players who are unavailable," he said at his post-match news conference. "We need to focus on those who can play. 

"We played with [Paulo] Dybala and Ronaldo and [Federico] Bernardeschi behind them. Then with Douglas Costa and two very offensive midfielders. 

"We missed Pjanic's quality, of course, and his rhythm, because he moves the ball fast and our play gets faster. 

"Gonzalo is a player that in the last 40 minutes of the game is always in the box more than the strikers we had today. But we had solutions."

Pjanic picked up a knock against Lecce but avoided any serious damage, meaning he could be back in contention for Saturday's Derby della Mole against Torino.

Douglas Costa and Aaron Ramsey also returned from lay-offs as second-half substitutes in midweek, but Sarri is being cautious over their fitness.

"Ramsey is not completely fit and Douglas only trained twice," the Italian said. "Both are not ready for the 90 minutes. 

"I was worried about Ramsey today, but he reacted well until the end. Anyway, I don't think we need to think about who is missing."

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