The state of the pitch and Torino's tactics meant Juventus could not play to their fluid best in the derby, according to Maurizio Sarri.

Sarri: Juventus could not be beautiful against Torino


Maurizio Sarri accepts Juventus could not be "beautiful" in a 1-0 Derby della Mole win at Torino due to their opponents' tactics and the state of the pitch.

Juve reclaimed top spot in the Serie A table from Inter thanks to a second-half strike from Matthijs de Ligt, the defender scoring his first goal for the club.

It was an underwhelming performance from the defending champions, who have now won on 10 of their past 11 visits to their city rivals, but head coach Sarri felt they were always likely to be short of their fluid best.

"This was a very difficult game and it was clear Torino would be extremely determined from the start," Sarri said to DAZN.

"So, the first phase of the plan was just to contain them and take control of the match later on, then close it towards the end.

"It was a tough game, full of intensity, physicality and tough tackling. It's not really suited to our characteristics, but we managed to get it done.

"This was not the game where we could try to be beautiful. The opposition's tactics, current form and the state of the pitch all meant we were forced to play with elements that are not our usual approach. 

"It's reassuring that we were able to win anyway."

Aaron Ramsey came off the bench in the second half but Sarri indicated the Wales midfielder is not yet fit enough to start matches.

"[Federico] Bernardeschi has more dynamism and forward runs, whereas Ramsey is better at passing," Sarri said.

"Ramsey was out injured for a month, but I don't feel he has 90 minutes in his legs. It is good to have players who can come off the bench and change gears.

"De Ligt struggled in the first 20 minutes, but then got into the game and had a very good second half.

"Alex Sandro seemed a little tired and it was only right to give him some rest.

"Mattia De Sciglio had been out for a while, so he was a little rusty, but once he too got into the rhythm, he did better."



Hughes slams woeful Saints

Hughes slams woeful Southampton after West Ham defeat

Southampton's capitulation at the hands of West Ham on Saturday left Mark Hughes frustrated and hunting for a way to solve their problems.


Klopp: Liverpool are on fire

Liverpool 'are on fire' ahead of City clash, says Klopp

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool had to dig deep to beat Crystal Palace, but it leaves them in a buoyant mood before facing Manchester City.


Pardew questions meek West Brom

Pardew questions West Brom's meek mentality

West Brom's "tentative" start to their Premier League defeat to Burnley left Alan Pardew unimpressed.


Napoli held by struggling Sassuolo

Sassuolo 1 Napoli 1: Sarri's men hand Juventus chance to extend lead

Juventus could go four points clear at the Serie A summit on Saturday after Napoli could only draw 1-1 at relegation battlers Sassuolo.


Birmingham move out of drop zone

Championship Review: Birmingham move out of the drop zone

There were contrasting emotions for rivals Birmingham City and Aston Villa in the Championship on Saturday.