Dale down sorry Shrimpers
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 23:03:00
Gianluigi Buffon believes Bayern Munich can win the Champions League after seeing his Juventus team outplayed in Turin.
Bayern followed up a 2-0 win in Munich last week with another two-goal triumph in Turin to seal a 4-0 aggregate victory and progress to the last four of Europe's premier club competition.
The Juventus goalkeeper could only praise the performance of the opponents and highlight the differences between the sides after the chastening experience in front of his own supporters.
"We have no regrets," Buffon told Sky Italia. "We played the match to the best of our current ability.
"It hasn't been enough, because we have faced a team that physically, in terms of experience, for conviction and technical ability have showed they are better than us.
"The difference between us and them is in the background. They have experienced players and they have played together there for many years.
"I knew they were strong, but not as strong as they have proved to be. They impressed me more than in Munich.
"We have done what we could in our best way, but they are absolutely strong. They can reach the Champions League final and win it."
Just four days after losing the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final against Crewe at Wembley, Phil Brown's men were taken apart in a dominant last half hour by Keith Hill's resurgent side.
It was Rochdale's third consecutive win and saw them go level with their opponents on 57 points in the table.
The home side took the lead in the 34th minute when Michael Rose was bundled over on the edge of the area. The full-back sent the resulting set-piece flying into the left-hand corner of Paul Smith's net.
The visitors levelled soon after the break when Mark Phillips got the slightest of touches to a Kevan Hurst free-kick, his glancing header briefly giving Southend the initiative.
But Bobby Grant headed home George Donnelly's cross before curling home a 20-yard finish to make the result safe for Dale.
Ashley Grimes' neat finish rubbed salt in the wound for Southend before Barry Corr - who had earlier hit the foot of the post with a header - powered home a Freddie Eastwood corner in time added on to reduce the arrears.