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Juventus must share the blame for defensive woes, says Chiellini

Giorgio Chiellini believes the Juventus players must share the blame for their recent defensive failings after they slipped five points off the pace in Serie A.

The Bianconeri have performed below their usual outstanding best so far this term, drawing to Atalanta and, on Sunday, losing to Lazio in Serie A, while also coming up short against Barcelona in the Champions League.

Juve have conceded 10 goals in the league - twice that of leaders Napoli - but, ahead of their latest European test against Sporting CP, Chiellini suggested it is not just his defensive team-mates who need to improve.

"With all due respect, when we don't concede goals, I'm the first to say it's not just thanks to me or the defenders," the Italy international told a pre-match news conference.

"The defensive play is about the whole team, otherwise it would be too easy: we'd be playing an individual sport, like tennis, with the defender against the striker.

"This is a team game, so it's about balance. The equilibrium is sometimes delicate and we all play for that. We definitely have to improve the defensive play and we're well aware of that."

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Juve lost Leonardo Bonucci to AC Milan in the off-season, but Chiellini's former team-mate is similarly struggling to plug a leaky defence at his new club.

"Leo is calm," he added. "It's difficult to change scenery and we're all cheering for him as a person, because the relationship between us is very good.

"He can return to the levels we're used to from him."