Massimiliano Allegri described his Juventus players as “pushovers” after the reigning Serie A champions lost the Supercoppa Italia 3-2 to Lazio thanks to a last-gasp goal at the Stadio Olimpico.
Juve, who fell two goals behind to a Ciro Immobile brace in Rome, looked to have forced extra time as Argentina forward Paulo Dybala dragged the Turin side back into the contest with a late double.
But Lazio substitute Alessandro Murgia, who turned 21 on Wednesday, ensured the preseason trophy remained in the capital with his coolly-taken strike deep into stoppage time.
The result gives critics of Juventus further ammunition, with the Bianconeri looking decidedly shaky ahead of their latest attempt to defend the Scudetto.
Following their 4-1 humbling by Real Madrid in June’s Champions League final, they have sold influential defender Leonardo Bonucci and appear to be struggling to secure high-quality signings in the summer transfer window.
New recruit Mattia De Sciglio noticeably struggled on debut in the capital, although Douglas Costa — a loan capture from Bayern Munich — provided some much-needed inspiration in the second half.
Head coach Allegri had no excuses after full-time and admitted the game was probably beyond his men by the time Dybala launched the comeback.
He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “Regardless of the goal at the end, for which we were pushovers, Lazio deserved the victory. They played better and fought harder.
“We didn’t really play from about 30 minutes in until the end. This must make us think hard and bring us back to earth as winning is never easy.
“They went out there stronger than us and we let them take it. Even though we might have scored more goals, Lazio deserve this.”
Double-scorer Dybala was less diplomatic in his review of the team’s performance, calling out his teammates for playing with a “small-team mentality” ahead of the start of the Serie A season.
“It’s a game we deserved to lose and Lazio comfortably deserved to win, even if we had come close to turning it around,” Dybala said.
“If we had gone to extra time, our chances of winning would’ve changed, but the performance we put in was not much to shout about. The result showed that they deserved the victory.
“The first 10 to 15 minutes were really good because we were attacking, we were aggressive towards Lazio and had the chances to score goals.
“We can’t just change attitude like that and play 50 to 60 minutes with that mentality. We have to turn over a new leaf, think of the next match and be aware that we must become more mature, because what we saw tonight was a small-team mentality.
“We want to change attitude straight away, because this isn’t the real Juve and we know that. We must be more mature and train this week to be ready for a very important game against Cagliari.”