Milan - Juventus are at a loss to explain why they fail to play with the same conviction and authority in Europe that they have shown in dominating Serie A over the past three seasons.
The Serie A champions are in danger of falling at the first hurdle for the second year in a row after slumping to their second successive 1-0 defeat in Group A on Wednesday, this time against Olympiakos.
Their defeat completed a miserable week for Italy's only two representatives in the group stage after AS Roma were hammered 7-1 at home by Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Juventus and Roma, first and second in Serie A respectively, both won their opening Champions League group games, but have mustered only one point in four matches between them since then.
While both teams are a cut above the rest in Serie A, the obvious conclusion is that their poor European form is simply a reflection of the dismal state of Italian football, where laboured build-ups and poor defending characterise many games.
Juventus, however, are confident that, with home matches still to come against Atletico and Olympiakos, they can turn around the situation and reach the last sixteen.
Wednesday's defeat left them third with three points while the La Liga and Greek Super League champions have six apiece.
"We know that something is missing in the Champions League for us to go a long way," said midfielder Paul Pogba. "In the league we are more relaxed, but in Europe everyone wants to win, they are the strongest."
Forward Carlos Tevez agreed with the Frenchman.
"We have the quality to qualify," said the Argentine, who has scored both Juve's goals in the group in the 2-0 win over Malmo.
"It's as if we freeze when we play in Europe, while in Serie A we feel at ease but we are good enough to revert this tendency.
"We must turn the page and find the strength to move on," he added. "We must remember that we are Juventus.
"We didn't come here to lose. Throughout their history, Juventus have always been very strong domestically and falter a bit in Europe. We must change that. It's a mentality issue and it's up to us to turn things around.
Another worry on Wednesday was an uninspired display from playmaker Andrea Pirlo.
"I'm not worried about Pirlo, he was out of action for a long time. I believed Andrea Pirlo could influence and organise our game but Olympiakos pressured us very well," said coach Massimiliano Allegri.
"I'm not worried, he will get to what he's always been."
"We must forget this match," added the phlegmatic coach. "Team morale will not be affected by this."
"Even though we have lost against both Atletico and Olympiacos, I'm still confident we can qualify."