Sarri: No ephemeral possession

Maurizio Sarri complained Juventus left it too open for Bologna. “There’s a fine line between passing the ball effectively and keeping ephemeral possession.”

The Bianconeri have won six of their last seven games by a one-goal margin, proving Serie A is far tougher and more balanced this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Miralem Pjanic got the goals around a Danilo temporary equaliser, but there was a huge scare in stoppages when Federico Santander hit the bar, then forced a desperate Gigi Buffon fingertip save.

“We watched it again afterwards and Bologna players were offside, so it wouldn’t have counted anyway,” Sarri told DAZN.

“I told the lads we mustn’t try to control a game, sit on a lead or be comfortable, because otherwise we leave ourselves in these risky situations to the very end.

“The sensation is that we moved the ball quicker after the break and Bologna were getting there a fraction of a second later. I don’t know if that’s because we did better or they were tired, having worked so hard in the first half to contain us.

“There’s a fine line between passing the ball effectively and just keeping ephemeral possession. In the last five minutes, we did it badly, as we lost the ball in banal fashion in our final third. We need to work on the details.

“It was a good game, but blighted by three or four horrible errors that we have to work on. I need to ensure the players realise we keep the ball for a reason, so possession is never kept just for the sake of it. We go into maintenance mode and that is never good.”

Federico Bernardeschi was again the trequartista behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain.

“He has very good stamina, so tracking back to defend suits him. It is an important role, as it allows the two strikers to work less, but admittedly it does make him less effective upfront and he lacked a bit of sharpness in front of goal this evening.”

Sarri is good friends with Bologna Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who returned to the bench after his second course of chemotherapy.

“I talked to him from a distance, as I have a cold and don’t want to do him any damage. It gives me great joy to see him on the bench, the touchline and the training ground.”

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