Maurizio Sarri faces a stiff challenge to keep Juventus in the Champions League, after the Serie A league leaders suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Lyon.
A first half goal from Lucas Tousart was enough to give the Ligue 1 side a slender lead to protect heading into the second leg, but it was the manner of Juve’s performance which alarmed some supporters.
Despite fielding Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala in attack, the Italians struggled to create any clear cut chances throughout the game, summed up by their total of zero shots on target in 90 minutes.
Sarri blasted his players after the game, accusing them of failing to respond to his instructions.
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“I don’t know why, I can’t get the players to understand the importance of moving the ball quickly,” he said.
“This is fundamental – we’ll keep working on it and sooner or later this concept will get into their heads.”
Since Sarri arrived in the summer to replace Massimiliano Allegri, the Italians have not asserted their dominance domestically and find themselves embroiled in a three-way title race with Lazio and Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan. Juve also drew the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan, leaving their hopes in the balance.
The Italian coach moved to Turin after only one season at Chelsea, where he led the Blues to Europa League glory and a creditable third place finish in the Premier League.
Despite his success on paper in west London, his tenure at Stamford Bridge was marred towards the end by ill-feeling from Chelsea supporters who disliked his style of football and team selections, and made their thoughts known with chants during games.
During the Blues’ win over Cardiff last season in March, the away supporters could be heard singing: ‘We want Sarri out’.
After the match, Sarri responded: “I don’t…