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Pirlo Not Out To Copy Anyone After Juventus’ Comfortable Opening Win

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Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said on Sunday he was not out to copy anyone, after beginning his new career with a comfortable 3-0 win over Sampdoria in Serie A.

Pirlo, who only received his coaching badge last week, has cited Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte as his biggest influences.

But he said that his style of football would be a mix of everything.

“I don’t want to copy anyone, I have my own ideas and I will take my cue from the teams that impressed me,” he said.

“We haven’t had much time because the boys have only been back for a week from their national team commitments.”“We saw a few things today (Sunday) and in the friendlies, but it will take time to assimilate things. We are missing players but, with the ones we have, we will try to do the best we can.”

Juve dominated possession, something Pirlo said he wanted them to do, and also pressed Sampdoria aggressively and broke quickly when they had the ball.

However, they still needed two late goals to ensure the three points.

“It’s about finding the right balance,” he said. “Quality players are always welcome, as long as they have the characteristics to bring balance to the team.”

His opposite number Claudio Ranieri was anything but happy as he slammed Sampdoria for a lack of courage.

“Today I didn’t see the Samp I wanted to see, I’m very disappointed,” he said. “We were too fearful. You can lose games but you have to try and play. Juventus played with hunger and my team didn’t.”

“We were lucky to get away with 3-0 because we could have conceded a lot more. We were timid, fearful and weak and I don’t know why this happened.”

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It’s My Job To Give Kepa Confidence, Says Lampard

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Kepa Arrizabalaga has “held his hands up” after making a calamitous error in Chelsea’s defeat to Liverpool, but Frank Lampard insists it is his responsibility to give the goalkeeper confidence.

Sadio Mane scored twice as Premier League champions Liverpool made it two wins from two with a 2-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Kepa – whose days as Chelsea’s first-choice appear to be numbered given the club are reportedly close to signing Edouard Mendy from Rennes – was at fault for Mane’s second, passing the ball straight to Liverpool’s forward, who drilled home from close range.

Though Lampard stated Kepa must take responsibility for the mistake, he claimed he is the person who needs to instil some belief in the former Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper, who was signed as the world’s most expensive goalkeeper in 2018.

“My job as a manager is to try to give Kepa confidence because a goalkeeper absolutely relies on confidence,” Lampard told Sky Sports.

“It’s a clear mistake – Kepa has accepted that, as he should, and held his hands up. We, as a group, have to accept that joint responsibility, these things do happen. It’s obviously a clear mistake.

“How do you gauge confidence? I don’t know. There are lots of things in football, one is confidence, another is work, the other is circumstances. It was just a clear mistake today.”

All of Chelsea’s players had average positions within their own half, and they managed just three attempts on target, including a failed penalty by Jorginho.

However, Lampard believes his side – who had Andreas Christensen sent off late in the first half – can take confidence from aspects of their performance.

“I’m disappointed to lose three points, as you should be, but I’m actually happier with today, in many ways, than I was with Brighton [Monday’s 3-1 win],” he added.

“Brighton was three points and an okay performance, we’re in pre-season still as we’ve not had long enough to train. Today I saw spirit, saw a desire to defend by a lot of our players.

“You play half a game with 10 men, you don’t make that mistake for the second goal, you score the penalty and it’s 1-1. I know that’s not football, I know I can’t reflect on that, but those are the realities. The players should take heart – it’s how we move forward from now.”

Christensen was sent off after referee Paul Tierney consulted the pitchside monitor following a VAR check, with the defender having hauled down Mane as the last man, though Lampard was not certain it should have been a red.

“Not definitely,” he said. “They can get given or not. Once yellow is the first decision, you feel it needs to be absolutely critical to be red.

“I’m not sure it was. I’m not going to sit here and complain too much, it’s one that I felt could be given, or not. ”

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Osimhen, Young Lad With Head Of 40-Year-Old — Gattuso

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Napoli’s coach Gennaro Gattuso on Sunday dished out rare praises on new Nigerian signing Victor Osimhen, describing him as “a young lad with the head of a 40-year-old”.

Osimhen became Napoli’s record signing when he joined from Lille in the summer for a reported 70 million euros.

He was brought on for his debut after an hour of Sunday’s Serie A match and the Nigerian made an instant impact in their 2-0 win.

”I was struck by Osimhen’s serious attitude. He has not forgotten where he came from and the sacrifices he made.

”He built himself up on his own and I congratulate him for his will and desire.

“He is a young lad with the head of a 40-year-old. I hope he does not make mistakes and does not change his attitude,” Gattuso said.

Osimhen, 21, grew up in a tough district of Lagos, lost his mother at a young age and along with his brother and sister, sold bottled water in Lagos traffic to help his family make ends meet.

Gattuso said he wanted to get Napoli back into the top four again after last year’s turbulent season, where they finished seventh after a late recovery and won the Coppa Italia.

”I want to see a well-organised team that have clear principles in their heads and that know how to make themselves available in difficult moments,” the coach said.

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Vidal Lands In Milan To Complete Move From Barca To Inter

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Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal is on the verge of sealing a move to Inter Milan from FC Barcelona after landing in Milan on Sunday.

Inter Milan’s official Twitter account published a photo of Vidal’s arrival and a video of the 33-year-old player saluting fans saying “Hi Inter, I’m here”.

Vidal, who joined Barca from Bayern Munich in 2018, is set to be reunited with Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte, who signed him for Juventus in 2011 and where he stayed until 2015.

Barca captain Lionel Messi paid tribute to his soon-to-be former team mate in a post on Instagram on Sunday.

“I only knew you from playing against you and I always thought you were a phenomenon. But, after being lucky enough to get to know you personally, you surprised me even more.

“We shared many things in the last two years and you made a huge impact on the dressing room and will be dearly missed.

“I wish you all the best luck in your new club and I’m sure our paths will cross again.”

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