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Juve suffers set back after surrendering lead in Sassuolo draw


Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri bemoaned his team's thrilling 3-3 draw at Sassuolo, with the stuttering Serie A leaders' inconsistency leaving him "perplexed".

Juve surrendered a 2-0 lead against in-form Sassuolo as they suffered a setback in their efforts to clinch a ninth successive Scudetto on Wednesday.

Defending champions Juve – who squandered a 2-0 advantage as they lost 4-2 to rivals Milan earlier this month – raced out to a two-goal advantage inside 12 minutes via Danilo and Gonzalo Higuain before Filip Djuricic reduced the deficit prior to half-time.

Domenico Berardi's stunning free-kick restored parity six minutes into the second half and the forward then set up Francesco Caputo to put Sassuolo 3-2 ahead three minutes later.

Alex Sandro salvaged a point for Juve past the hour-mark as the league leaders improved to 77 points through 33 games, seven clear of high-flying Atalanta.

"A coach expects consistency from his team, it's something we've been lacking both physically and mentally. We have some very strong moments in a match and some moments of passivity that are difficult to understand," Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

"We've been up against teams in remarkable form recently and Sassuolo are no different, as they'd won four in a row and if they consolidate, they can become the Atalanta of the future.

"I do believe that if we resolve the issue of consistency throughout the game, we are on the right track. Any team becomes dangerous if you let them pass it around in our final third.

"We struggled because they played between the lines with the trequartista and we gave the ball away too many times. It was strange, as our full-backs in the first half were conservative, but then started to push forward and win the ball back early towards the end of the game.

"It's not so much something that doesn't work as it works in fits and starts. At times, I get the feeling this team has enormous potential. At other times, it leaves you perplexed, as it allows the opponents to enter the box far too easily. We need to find the right balance and that is not easy.

"We had to keep the ball more, as there are times when the passing move will help you to control the tempo and stay in the opposition half. We sometimes feel too rushed in trying to get to the goal in a couple of passes, which creates a situation where you go from end to end."

Juve host struggling Lazio – third in the standings – in Turin on Monday.

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