Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri was impressed by his side’s will to win after Matthijs De Ligt’s first goal for the club settled the Turin derby.
De Ligt, a £67.5million summer signing from Ajax while still a teenager, lashed home the only goal in the second half to secure a 1-0 win against Torino and extend Juve’s unbeaten start in all competitions this season to 14 matches.
Juve also climbed back to the top of Serie A after finally finding a way past inspired Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, who twice denied Cristiano Ronaldo and pulled off several other superb saves.
Matthijs de Ligt's first Juventus goal?— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) November 2, 2019
“This was a difficult game, we needed a very high level of determination because we knew they would play with aggression,” Sarri told a press conference, quoted in Gazetto dello Sport.
“It was a dirty and intense match, so not very suited to our characteristics. It was difficult to be beautiful because of Toro’s playing style and also because of the condition of the field.
“But I’m happy with what I saw.”
Holland international De Ligt, now 20, fired home in the 70th minute after substitute Gonzalo Higuain had hooked on a corner.
“De Ligt had a difficult start, but after 20 minutes he entered the game well,” Sarri added.
“The break-in for a 19-year-old is mandatory, especially when you come from a less tactical championship with less pressure like the Dutch one. But he did well.”
Torino’s winless run was extended to six games and cranks up the pressure on boss Walter Mazzarri, while defeat would have been by a bigger margin had it not been for Sirigu.
“I’m angry because we have lost. I don’t like to lose when we play well,” Mazzarri said.
“The boys must always play like they have against Juventus. They will always have to play with the same desire and determination.
“Sirigu was very good, but (Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech) Szczesny also did well, making a great save from (Cristian) Ansaldi.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.