Buffon ‘not to blame’ as blunder costs Juventus in Serie A

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 00:00 |
Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo kisses the ball as he celebrates after scoring a goal during their Italian Serie A match against Sassuolo on Sunday, at the Juventus Allianz stadium in Turin. Photo/AFP

Milan, Monday


Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri refused to blame veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon’s blunder as the defending champions were held to a 2-2 home draw by lowly Sassuolo on Sunday that cost them top spot in Serie A.

The 41-year-old Buffon is closing in on Paolo Maldini’s record for Serie A appearances in what is likely to be his final season.

Rivals Inter Milan took full advantage of Juventus’ slip, taking pole position with a 2-1 win over SPAL as the champions slipped to second, one point behind, after dropping their first points at home this season.

Buffon started in place of Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

It was Buffon’s 645th Serie A appearance but only his fifth of the season, putting him two short of Maldini’s record of 647 games.

However, it was not a memorable afternoon with Jeremie Boga pulling Sassuolo level at 1-1 after chipping the ball over an onrushing Buffon.

The goalkeeper then fumbled in Francesco Caputo’s goal for 2-1 after a mix-up in the Juventus defence after the break before Cristiano Ronaldo rescued a point with a 68th-minute penalty.

Sarri said the team shared the blame and not just Buffon.

“Gigi? We focus on his ‘blunder’, but everything starts in the build-up, the chain of errors is quite obvious,” said the former Chelsea and Napoli boss.

“It was an incredible series of mistakes, from a bad back-pass to another that hit a Sassuolo player.

“When you aren’t fully focused, a blunder can happen. As I said, we didn’t use our heads, certain episodes are explained like this.  -AFP

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