Juventus title hopes suffered a major blow with a heavy 0-3 defeat against Fiorentina at home in a Serie A clash on Tuesday. The loss came after the defending champions learnt that a 3-0 victory which was awarded after Napoli forfeit a fixture in October due to a COVID-19 related travel ban has been rescinded. Also Read - Cristiano Ronaldo Transfer Rumour: Juventus Star Heavily Linked With Manchester United After Following Former Club on Instagram
The twin blows have left them at the fourth spot in the Serie A standings, seven points behind current leaders AC Milan. It was a match to forget for Juventus as they were reduced to 10 men with Juan Cuadrado being sent off after 18 minutes for a tackle on Castrovilli. Also Read - CAG vs MIL Dream11 Team Prediction Serie A 2020-21: Captain, Vice-captain, Fantasy Playing Tips And Probable XIs For Today's Cagliari vs AC Milan Football Match at Sardegna Arena 1.15 AM IST January 19 Tuesday
However, their troubles began long before the sent-off when Dusan Vlahovic scored in the third minute to put Fiorentina ahead by one goal. Despite the chances coming their way including a diving header from Cristiano Ronaldo which was ruled offside, the hosts failed to find the equaliser. Also Read - Cristiano Ronaldo Fails to Score as Inter Milan Beat Juventus 2-0 in Serie A Clash to go Top of The Points Table
Then Cristiano Biraghi’s cross was deflected by defender Alex Sandro inside his own net with the visitors taking a 2-0 lead in the 76th minute. Veteran Franck Ribery, who had assisted the first goal, played a pivotal role in the third as well with Martin Caceres adding the third against his former club nine minutes before the full time.
Juventus manager Andre Pirlo wasn’t a happy man, questioning the attitude of his players after the match.
“What happened with the red card cannot be used as an alibi,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia. “The result was not down to Fiorentina’s attitude but the lack of ours. When this is the case you face bad situations like this. In games before Christmas it can happen then you have your mind on the holidays. We were unfocused and could not recover.”
Juventus captain Leonardo Bonucci struggled during the contest but Pirlo came out in his defense.
“Bad evenings like these happen to everyone. Up until this point he has made some great performances. It happens to everyone. He is our captain and we still have great faith in him,” he said.
Juventus will have to take on Napoli sometime next year with their forfeit win now overturned but Pirlo wasn’t happy with the decision. Napoli weren’t allowed to travel after three members of their contingent including two players tested positive for coronavirus.
“We don’t mind playing the game again. I’m more disappointed for the other teams that have travelled and played without far more players who had Covid. They showed great fairness by playing anyway. I won’t say if the ruling was correct or not, but it didn’t seem fair to the other teams who carried on and played in more difficult situations,” he said.