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Pirlo praises Juventus ‘determination’

Andrea Pirlo was clearly emotionally exhausted after the comeback win over Udinese and praised the ‘determination and fight’ Juventus showed.

The Bianconeri again put in a frankly poor performance at the Dacia Arena, barely creating any chances after they were caught out on a quickly-taken free kick for Nahuel Molina’s goal.

They were revitalised by a penalty for Rodrigo De Paul’s avoidable handling offence, then Cristiano Ronaldo nodded in at the back post to complete the turnaround.

“This victory arrived with determination and fight. We once again made life complicated for ourselves, but we wanted to bring home the result right to the end and that’s what is important,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.

“It was particularly crucial considering the results from this afternoon. This is a group, it’s strong, it wants to fight for its targets and we never lacked that. Sometimes the attitude during games was not worthy of Juventus, but the final embrace was a show of our unity. Now we need to continue with this spirit.”

Pirlo is usually so controlled, but his run to hug his teammates at the goal and his exhaustion in the post-match interview suggests he’s feeling the strain of being a coach.

“I thought it’d be a bit less stressful and emotional, but when you win games like this at the end, it gives you the energy to keep going.”

Napoli and Atalanta were held to draws, while Milan and Lazio won this weekend, so Juve are now joint second with La Dea and Rossoneri.

“There’s fatigue, both physical and mental, so when you’re used to challenging for the Scudetto and not the Champions League, something changes. We have adapted, it’s a struggle, but we need to get there.”

Inter won the Scudetto today with Pirlo’s former coach Antonio Conte.

“I congratulate Inter and the boss for this deserved title. Now we need to change, because we want to be the champions again. One era ends after nine consecutive Scudetti, another will now begin and we aim to be back there.”

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