Juventus manager Max Allegri has pointed to his side's defensive inabilities for failure to beat struggling Crotone on Wednesday evening.
The two sides played out to a 1-1 draw in their midweek encounter, allowing Napoli to come to within four points of the Old Lady, ahead of their crucial clash at the weekend.
A brilliant header from Alex Sandro gave the Bianconeri an early lead in what was supposed to be a routine victory for the Serie A leaders. However, a moment of magic brought the two sides level when Simeone Nwankwo's overhead kick earned Crotone a point.
From there, despite obvious efforts from Juventus, they could not get through the home side's defence. However, despite a poor evening on the creative front, Allegri has pointed to his defence as the weakness.
“A month and a half ago I'd have been more than happy to go into this head-to-head clash with a four-point advantage,” Allegri began, via the club's official website.
“We didn't play well today and we struggled a little. It wasn't easy as we needed to keep hold of the ball without trying to rush things, but even in the first half you got the impression we might concede tonight.
“We didn't stay tight enough and we let Crotone get lots of balls into the box and break through down the right.”
Despite failure to beat Crotone on Wednesday night, Juve now look ahead to the weekend, when they host closely chasing title rivals Napoli.
“We must look to win the match because it would be a big step forward. It will be a great game – hard fought with lots of skill on display. We must get off to a good start.”