Andrea Pirlo insists Juventus' never-say-die spirit was to thank for their late 2-1 comeback win over Torino in Saturday's Derby della Mole clash. (More Football News)
Juve trailed to Nicolas Nkoulou's ninth-minute strike at the Allianz Stadium and would have been two down had Simone Zaza beat Wojciech Szczesny from a one-on-one.
But the hosts rallied late on and scored two headed goals from Juan Cuadrado crosses – Leonardo Bonucci netting an 89th-minute winner after Weston McKennie had equalised 12 minutes earlier.
It marked the first time Juve have won a league game in which they have trailed in since November 2019 and Pirlo praised the attitude shown by his players to dig deep and pick up a vital derby victory.
"When you lose every challenge, it becomes difficult to control the game," he told Sky Sport Italia.
"We were too static and never filled the box when we did manage to find some width to put a cross in. It's difficult against a five-man defence.
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"We remembered after the break that the Juventus DNA is to put in heart and sacrifice. Once you can pin them back into their half, it becomes easier to get the breakthrough."
Paulo Dybala tamely curled into Salvatore Sirigu's hands from Juve's only on-target attempt of a below-part first half but the champions got three shots on target in the second period.
Pirlo brought on Aaron Ramsey and Alex Sandro with his side trailing by a goal and believes the substitutions played a part in the turnaround.
"Not everyone can always give 100 per cent, but those who came on provided determination, dynamism and attacking spirit, which is what won us the game," he said.
"When opposition teams clam up and are very organised, you have to keep moving the ball to create the spaces and stretch them out.
"We didn't do that in the first half, we did after the break. If we lack heart, we don't move it as quickly either, and it all comes together.
"Sometimes, it's not simple to find a breakthrough just by creating clean passing moves, you have to fight."
Juve were on the verge of a sixth draw in their opening 10 games for the first time since 1965-66 before skipper Bonucci's last-gasp winner in Turin.
And given the nature of his side's victory, with both goals coming from floated crosses into the box, Pirlo was asked if was a case of substance over style.
"If that's true, our DNA must remain at the centre of the whole team," he said. "At times, games do get messy, we concede after a few minutes and our opponents defend well.
"When you can't style your way through, you have to find other ways. We do have to move the ball more quickly, as otherwise we give the opposition more time to get back."
Juve are now up to third in the table, three points behind a Milan side who have a game in hand, and Pirlo's relief at full-time was clear to see.
"It's more exhausting as a player, very different as a coach, but the feeling of victory is the same," he said.
Torino's return of six points after 10 matches is their lowest Serie A tally since 2002-03 when they went down.
Head coach Marco Giampaolo, who took over in August, acknowledges his side need to improve after throwing away the lead in their last three league games.
"We lost this game due to details," he said. "Considering our current form, we played the way we had to play, and there were details that made the difference, both in attack and defence.
"Evidently, we still have more work to do. It's about how we track back, how we defend, how we cover the spaces, where our positioning is.
"We had done it all so well, but a few errors and we get punished."