Conte blasts UEFA after Juve loss
Juventus coach Antonio Conte has revealed that they wanted their Champions League clash with Galatasaray postponed.
The game was abandoned due to excessive snow on Tuesday after 33 minutes and then the remaining 57 minutes was played out on Wednesday afternoon. The game in Istanbul only went ahead after extensive work at the Turk Telekom Arena and after that the playing surface did not look very good.
But the two sides took to the field and Galatasaray won the game and booked their place in the next round, at the expense of Juve, thanks to Wesley Sneijder’s late strike. And Conte admits Juve were not happy and he told Sky Italia: "We certainly tried to have the game postponed and met with the UEFA delegate beforehand, but nobody wanted to listen. Roberto Mancini said it was dangerous and I agreed with him.
"At halftime, I reiterated to the referee that it was not safe to play in these conditions. Didier Drogba said it was the same thing for both teams, but I pointed out it wasn’t, because we were trying to play football. I have to praise the lads, as they gave their all in a situation where we were enormously penalized, as the game resorted to a football brawl."
Conte added: "I will say our mistake was to get to the last game and play everything here. With a decent pitch, I am sure we would’ve played our game. We couldn’t have predicted these circumstances, so in my view our exit is unfair, but we also made life difficult for ourselves."
Gala boss Roberto Mancini also admitted to Sky Italia that he did not think the match should be played.
"It was difficult to play football in these circumstances and I said beforehand it was dangerous for the players, so perhaps better not to play," Mancini told Sky Sport Italia. "Last night was practically impossible, as a sheet of ice had formed over the pitch and nobody wanted to continue. I told the UEFA delegate that in my view it wasn’t right to play today either.
Mancini reiterated: "At halftime it was already too late. Juve wanted to play before the game, or at least they didn’t say anything. I agree with Conte, it was impossible to play football for either side. It became a lottery. After that it was an open game and we were more aggressive, so deserved the victory, perhaps because we knew that we had to win."