Milan - Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has called on
the stuttering Italian champions to stand up and be counted after a second
consecutive league defeat left them in the Serie A Doldrums.
Juve won a fourth consecutive scudetto last season and
secured their first league and Cup double in 20 years before ending a 12-year
wait to challenge for the Champions League final last May.
But after defeat to Udinese last week, a depleted Juve
succumbed 2-1 to scudetto rivals Roma after a lively encounter at the Stadio
Olimpico on Sunday.
Juventus, who underwent significant changes in personnel
during the summer following the departure of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and
Carlos Tevez, now sit 17th in Italy's top flight after two games.
Buffon admitted the club's new players will need time to
find their feet, but with holes in the defence and yet another lacklustre
performance coming from French midfielder Paul Pogba, the legendary Italy
goalkeeper said the champions ultimately failed to show up.
Also read: Allegri, Buffon disagree on Juventus aims
"When you play for Juventus, winning is everything, but
even when that doesn't happen you need to offer more than we showed
today," Buffon said after the game.
"When the team undergoes a lot of changes of course you
can allow for a few dropped points or for some nerves to creep in at the start.
"But we have lots of new and quality players, so
everyone should be taking on a greater sense of responsibility, starting from
when we regroup next Monday."
Second-half goals from Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko, who
nodded home in the 79th minute, left Juventus with a mountain to climb at the
Juve wing-back Patrice Evra had been sent off for a second
bookable offence in the latter stages and although Juve grabbed a consolation
through Paulo Dybala, the champions had little in response to a well-oiled Roma
side that seemed destined for the win.
It was Roma's first league win over Juve since February 2013
and meant the Italian champions have failed to win their first two league games
of the season for the first time in history.
For Buffon, Juve's "deficiencies" meant the
champions weren't even worthy of the draw.
"We wouldn't have deserved the draw. We had a lot of
deficiencies, especially in midfield, but that's no excuse," added the
"They played better than us and came right at us. We
were too timid and lost confidence when things started to go wrong."
From the highs of the Champions League final, where Juve
suffered a 3-1 defeat to Barcelona, the Turin giants have plummeted to the
lower reaches of Italy's top flight to sit fourth from bottom ahead of Empoli,
Frosinone and Carpi.
The Serie A campaign, however, is only two weeks old and
coach Massimiliano Allegri is confident normal service will resume following
the break for international football next week.
By that time, German international midfielder Sami Khedira,
who has yet to make his league debut, and Italian counterpart Claudio Marchisio
are expected to be fit to play.
Spain striker Alvaro Morata, who linked up well with Tevez
last season, should also be fully fit having recently returned from a knock.
"We've some catching up to do, but we have the time and
the quality to do so. We have to stay calm, clear-headed and analyse what
didn't work for us," said Allegri.
"When we come back we'll have Marchisio ready and Khedira
won't be far off. Morata will be in better shape, while (Juan) Cuadrado,
Mandzukic and Dybala will be more in tune with our our way of working."For
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