Andrea Pirlo explains his tactical adjustments to Juventus after a 2-0 victory at Dynamo Kiev, including the versatility of Federico Chiesa and Dejan Kulusevski.
The Bianconeri got off to an ideal Champions League start, winning 2-0 away to Dynamo Kiev thanks to a pair of Alvaro Morata goals.
“It was important to put in a more solid performance compared to Crotone,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia, referring to Saturday’s 1-1 Serie A draw.
“We were able to try a few things on Monday and were more organised this evening. We could’ve made more of some of the first half chances, but controlled the game well after taking the lead.”
There was one intriguing tactical experiment that only lasted 18 minutes due to Giorgio Chiellini’s injury. It had Chiellini in the centre of a three-man defence and Danilo on the left.
“It came from a rotation we wanted to have on the right, with Kulusevski cutting inside to let Juan Cuadrado break forward,” explained Pirlo.
“They were putting pressure on Leonardo Bonucci’s runs forward, so we put Giorgio in the centre. His injury forced us to change things, but Merih Demiral did very well.
“Chiellini had this muscular twinge in the flexor. He already felt it after international duty, so was rested against Crotone. We’ll evaluate it now.”
Chiesa impressed on the left wing, with Cuadrado on the right, although as always with Pirlo, tactical systems are in a constant state of flux.
“What I wanted was to have many players going into attack. Chiesa can play on either flank, Kulusevski or Aaron Ramsey can play as a trequartista behind a striker.
“Let’s not forget we have Cristiano Ronaldo out and Paulo Dybala is not in good shape, so the attacking structure can change, but the players are in the right positions.
“Chiesa is suited to what we wanted to do. He isn’t meant to be a fifth midfielder, but a wide attacker, while when defending he becomes a fourth midfielder. He can play on either side and does it very well.”
Dybala came off the bench for his season debut, but looked rusty.
“You could tell he was not 100 per cent tonight, he needs to play in order to slowly get back into shape.”