Antonio Conte was “certainly moved” when saluting the Juventus fans after his first game back in Turin, while Cagliari Coach Ivo Pulga cursed a single slip.
Tonight’s 1-0 Coppa Italia victory over Cagliari was Conte’s first home match since his four-month ban expired and he saluted the whole crowd, joining his players in rushing hand-in-hand towards the ultras.
“I am certainly moved, as it is always very pleasing to have this show of affection from our fans,” confessed Conte.
“Of course we wanted to get a victory, as we want to be competitive in every tournament. There were many lads who hadn’t played as much this season, but they had the chance to shine.
“Cagliari were organised and now we wait for the Quarter-Finals, where our opponents will presumably be Milan.”
The Rossoneri welcome Serie B side Reggina to San Siro tomorrow evening.
Conte had to reshuffle his pack repeatedly, as Emanuele Giaccherini pulled out in the warm-up, his replacement Arturo Vidal bruised his knee and Nicklas Bendtner was stretchered off with a muscular problem.
“It’s a shame, as Giaccherini felt unwell before kick-off and so I needed Arturo to play. He then got a knee problem, while Bendtner’s problem is muscular. It’s a shame, as you want to try new faces.”
The tie was decided only by a Sebastian Giovinco goal, as he took advantage of defender Luca Rossettini’s error.
“It was a fine performance and the lads showed there are no second choice players at Cagliari,” said Coach Pulga.
“We’re happy with the performance, not the result, as the goal was unlucky. One of our players slipped and they took advantage.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.