Pirlo defends Dybala amid criticism for late Lazio equaliser

Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo defends Paulo Dybala after he was criticised for role in late Lazio equaliser… before he then pulls out of Argentina squad due to ‘genito-urinary symptoms’

  • Paulo Dybala came on as substitute during Juventus’ 1-1 draw with Lazio 
  • Andrea Pirlo insists Dybala ‘wanted to do well and wanted to help the team’
  • Pirlo said Dybala was not fit, and the player has withdrawn from Argentina duty 
  • His injury was described by the Argentine FA as a ‘genito-urinary’ problem
  • Juventus were pegged back by a last-minute equaliser from Felipe Caicedo 
  • The point leaves Pirlo’s side in fifth place, four points behind leaders AC Milan 

Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo has defended Paulo Dybala’s attitude after his side drew with Lazio, revealing that the forward was not fully fit.

Dybala stepped off the bench as the Serie A champions were held to a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday. 

Dybala was criticised by Juventus fans for mismanaging the ball in the build-up to Lazio’s equaliser, but Pirlo has no complaints about his player.  

Paulo Dybala has withdrawn from the Argentina squad and will miss their World Cup qualifiers

‘I think his attitude is not wrong. He was willing to do well and wanted to help the team,’ the Juve manager told a news conference.

‘Sometimes it happens not to be in the best physical condition as he is now. He needs to work and play, we just need to manage these situations in the final moments of the games if we want to clinch the victory.’

Confirming Pirlo’s concerns about his fitness, Dybala has now pulled out of Argentina’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Peru.

The Argentine FA revealed that he was suffering from ‘genito-urinary symptoms’.

A statement read: ‘Marcos Acuna and Paulo Dybala have been dropped.

‘The Sevilla player has been withdrawn from the squad as a result of the muscle problem he suffered playing for his club on Saturday.

‘Meanwhile Dybala has also been left out after presenting general genito-urinary symptoms.

‘He needs to rest from playing sport, and to have tests.’

Andrea Pirlo is happy with Paulo Dybala’s attitude after he withdrew from the Argentina squad  

Cristiano Ronaldo put the Bianconeri in front against Lazio but former Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo scored an injury-time equaliser, after a wonderful solo run by Joaquin Correa. 

Juve are fifth in Serie A, four points behind leaders AC Milan, who scraped a point at Verona in a 2-2 draw at the weekend. 

Pirlo’s side had victory snatched from them courtesy of Caicedo’s late strike and since last season no one has scored more goals on or after the 90th minute in Serie A – the Ecuadorian has five. 

‘When you concede one goal it is not because of the individual but the whole team. We win and lose as a team,’ Pirlo said.

‘We must manage these situations in a better way, being hungry to achieve the result until the very last second.’

Felipe Caicedo (centre) celebrates after his injury time equaliser earned Lazio a point 

Juventus return to league action at home to Cagliari on November 21, before welcoming Ferencvaros to the Allianz Stadium for a Champions League encounter a few days later. 

Pirlo is hopeful that Ronaldo will be available for those upcoming fixtures after he  confirmed the Portuguese star suffered an ankle injury during the draw at Lazio. 

‘Ronaldo is a key player not only for us but for all the teams he has played for. Unfortunately he had an ankle problem and was forced to leave the field,’ the Juve boss told DAZN.

‘Today (Federico) Chiesa was unable to play, (Giorgio) Chiellini is injured and Alex Sandro and (Matthijs) de Ligt are out, but we can’t use these as excuses.’




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